As Abigail savours the joys of springtime in her new home in Birchtown, Nova Scotia, she knows she has much to be thankful for. She is grateful that they have food to eat and a place to sleep, and most of all that they are safe at last, after all the horrors of the American Revolution. And soon there will be a new baby in their family, for any day now Aunt Dinah will be having a baby. But although she is grateful for all of these things, in her heart Abigail longs for one more thing: a new dress to wear to celebrate the baby’s arrival. While she knows that a new dress is just not possible right now, sometimes wishes have a way of coming true when you least expect it.
As in her previous two novels for young readers, Gloria Ann Wesley creates a stirring portrait of life for the Birchtown colonists, highlighting their daily struggles to make ends meet as well as the strong sense of community that Abigail’s family and her neighbours shared. The richly detailed illustrations are highly evocative and further create a strong sense of time and place. They are filled with light and beautifully capture a myriad of facial expressions.