|This article was written by Jim Moshern and originally appeared in the Interlake Spectator:|
Falcons winning ways focus of new book
A historical fiction about the Olympic gold-winning Winnipeg Falcons is set to be launched in Gimli, Manitoba. Falcons Gold: Canada's First Olympic Hockey Heroes is written by Gimli children's author Kathy Arnason, best known for her books about the legendary Huldufolk of Icelandic folklore. Falcons Gold is illustrated by Luther Pokrant, who created the Falcons mural that hung a a site in the Olympic village during the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Arnason says her book keys on a little boy and his grandfather. "It's taking history and weaving it in with some fiction so that you can bring that history alive for the children," says Arnason.
"It's really about how history gets passed down from grandparents to children, and the role that grandparents play in repeating stories," says Arnason. "In the end, you don't know whether the little boy dreamt it all or the grandfather dreamt it. It's about imagination and how people interpret stories. The little boy gives life to the story his grandfather told him.
While Falcons Gold is a children's story, it's geared in a subtle way to adults too. "When you write for children, you have to write for the adult," explains Arnason. "You have to engage the adult and you have to engage the child. The book creates the opportunity for interaction between the adult and the child. It's a book that adults will be able to enjoy."
The Winnipeg Falcons won Olympic gold at the Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920. They were a spirited group of mostly Icelandic-Canadians who brought their unique values and character to the cherished game of hockey.
"These guys came together as a team," said Arnason. "It was their values and character that made them excel, and made them believe that they could win this medal. Each of them brought something unique -honour, intellect, leadership."
Based on the history of the Winnipeg Falcons unexpected win, Falcons Gold goes the extra step to bring children into the magical world in which we live.
"The book opens a whole lot of doors. This may all be a dream," says Arnason. "But you know what? Dreams are what it's all about -and dreams come true."