cover image Runs with the Stars

Runs with the Stars

Darcy Whitecrow and Heather M. O’Connor, illus. by Lenny Lishchenko. Second Story, $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77260-238-8

Debut author Whitecrow (Ojibwe and Dakota) and O’Connor (Fast Friends) weave a history of wild-roaming Ojibwe horses around western Lake Superior with the intergenerational story of an Ojibwe seven-year-old awaiting the birth of a foal. To ease the waiting, Mishoomis shares how, during his grandfather’s time, “herds of Ojibwe Horses ran in the woods, like the deer,” helping “our people travel, haul wood, and go trapping.” Eventually, though, snowmobiles replaced the slight, strong horses (“You feed a snow machine only when you use it”), and the herd grew smaller, until the remaining few were bred with a mustang, eventually increasing their numbers. Mishoomis explains, “I didn’t want you to grow up without them,” highlighting the grandchild’s arrival on the same day as his first foal, and the family’s enduring and continuing relationship with a precious Indigenous species. In textural art, Lishchenko (In My Anaana’s Amautik) conjures images of the herds, the protagonists, and the interplay between nature and technology. Back matter details additional efforts to save the herd. Publishing simultaneously in a multilingual (Anishinaabemowin/English) edition. Ages 6–8. (May)