Maine Maven Gift Guide: "The Scallop Christmas"

Editor's note: Our shopping has already begun, and we're guessing yours has, too. To help make things a little easier, we'll feature a Maine product each day in our holiday gift guide through Dec. 24 (and we're talking all holidays, kids). If you have any suggestions for local favorites, please post a comment or e-mail us at

Once upon a time, in a fishing village not so far away, the locals were having a rough fall. Money was scarce and spirits were low. But a bounty of riches — in the form of a bumper crop of scallops — was about to turn things around.

"The Scallop Christmas," a new children's book by longtime Georgetown resident Jane Freeberg, tells the (mostly) true story of a girl named Marcie and her family's foray into fishing that fateful fall. Dad was a schoolteacher by trade, but that didn't stop him from taking on the backbreaking task of scallop raking. Since the daily limit was a bushel per person, he brought Marcie and her siblings along for the ride. For the kids, it was cold, damp and boring — and at the end of each day, Dad paid them a quarter for their patience. But in the end, the children learn priceless lessons about hard work, sacrifice and the things that are truly valuable.

It's a heartwarming story — one that's particularly relevant today — and the artwork by young illustrator Astrid Sheckels of Massachusetts is absolutely lovely. The kids will love it. And so will the teary-eyed grownups.

"The Scallop Christmas" is published by Islandport Press of Yarmouth and is available at most independent and chain bookstores in Maine and New Hampshire. To order online, click here.


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