cover image We Belong to the Drum

We Belong to the Drum

Sandra Lamouche, illus. by Azby Whitecalf. Orca, $21.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4598-3435-4

A personal-feeling picture book from Cree author Lamouche begins with its protagonist in utero: “Nikosis had been listening to the drum before he was born.... This is the first sound we hear—our mother’s heartbeat.” Nikosis is soon a growing child who loves “the movement and music of powwow,” especially drums. But when summer is over and Nikosis begins day care, he proves inconsolable until Okâwiya brings in a powwow CD that helps him to feel comfortable and eventually find a feeling of belonging. Crayon-textured interiors from Plains Cree illustrator Whitecalf capture the child’s ranging emotions in scenes that show individuals of various abilities and skin tones. A glossary and author’s note conclude. English and dual-language (English and Plains Cree) editions publish simultaneously. Ages 7–9. (May)