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Children's LiteratureEleven-year-old Baptiste is far from home on this cold New Year's Eve in 1846. Life in the Canadian logging camp is difficult. The lumberjacks live together in a cabin made of tree trunks chinked with moss to keep out wintry air. Baptiste works hard to support his poor family. At night he sobs while the others snore on their beds of spruce boughs. Some evenings the men play instruments to chase away their own blues. On this night, though, when the moon is "high and round and beautiful like an orange" seven men traipse outside with Baptiste not far behind. The eldest, Tom Caribou, reaches under a tree and pulls out a flying canoe, the "Chasse-galerie." With the order to "Sit yourselves in your places," and "Hang on tight!" a grand adventure into the never-ending night begins. The voyageurs are pulled up into a lake of stars only to drop earthward at times to visit with family and friends. This imaginative classic from Quebec features a boy who learns what all lumberjacks seem to know: all one has to do to go home is think about loved ones and "keep those paddles moving!" Were the magic words spoken by the leader, "Acabree, acabra, acabram, Canoe, take us over the mountains!" a pact with the Devil? Perhaps, but it was surely a fine way to keep warm in a drafty logging cabin deep in the Canadian woods so far from home. Inside the paper cover is a delightful color poster. 2004, Tundra Books, Ages all.