July 26, 2017 Groundwood Books

How are you celebrating National Aunt and Uncle’s Day?

Did you know that July 26 is National Aunts and Uncle’s Day? You may not get the day off from work, but we think it’s worth celebrating. After all, our aunts and uncles can occupy a very special place in our hearts.

We bet JonArno Lawson is thinking of his uncle Holland today. Growing up, JonArno heard stories about him at every family occasion. Uncle Holland got into a lot of trouble, but no one would ever call him dull. In fact, he was so interesting, he inspired a book!

Why not read a copy of Uncle Holland? And then call your aunts and uncles and wish them a happy day?


Uncle Holland
Written by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Natalie Nelson

When Holland is arrested for the thirty-seventh time for stealing beautiful things, he must make a very difficult decision. A police officer says that he must either go to jail or become a soldier. He chooses to join the army and is sent south, where he finds himself surrounded by beautiful things: palm trees, parrots, flowers and big blue waves…and fish!

Holland starts painting pictures of the fish, which he sells at the market on the weekend. Soon, he has money to send home to his parents. They are worried that he’s gone back to his stealing ways, so his father writes to ask if he earned the money honestly. Holland writes back to reassure him that he has decided to paint instead of steal because “not everything that’s pretty can be stuffed in your pockets!”

Based on a true story about JonArno Lawson’s uncle, and accompanied by Natalie Nelson’s collage illustrations, this quirky picture book is about making choices – and art.

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