Birdsong

Julie Flett. Greystone Kids, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77164-473-0
When Katherena and her mother move away from family in “the city by the sea,” the new house has a desk, “but I don’t feel like drawing./ My hands are cold.” Meeting Agnes, the older woman who is their nearest neighbor, changes everything: “I can’t wait to go home and start drawing.” Agnes becomes frail as the seasons pass, but the duo’s strengthening friendship (“Agnes tells me about waxing and waning moons./ I tell her about Cree seasons”) allows Katherena to grow, and the book closes with a gift from Katherena to Agnes. Cycling from spring to spring, Flett’s subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons. Cree-Métis words (defined in a small glossary) add an intimate layer of identity to the child’s lustrous narration, which shines against the spare beauty of rich illustrations by Flett (who is Cree-Métis). Ages 3–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/26/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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