Forever Our Home/kâkikê kîkinaw (Bilingual edition)

Orca. May 2023. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459837584. BL.
PreS-K–Simpson’s debut picture book, written in both English and Plains Cree, is a tribute to her homeland in the prairies and plains. Adapted from a lullaby she wrote for her newborn son, the lyrical text highlights the wildlife of the area while affirming her family’s ancestral place in the land. “My sweet, beautiful child,” she writes, “home is where the hawks hunt and the foxes run wild. This, my love, is where you are from.” Simultaneously, Joseph’s vivid spreads center the plants and animals of the area as the most visually important elements on the page, with the family frequently pictured as passing through in the distance, or on some pages absent entirely. It’s a lovely reminder that our homelands belonged to so many more before us. With a continuing dearth of Indigenous voices, this solemn and serene volume should be considered a first purchase.
VERDICT Essential for most collections, and with its wildlife-centric art, it’s also a perfect read-aloud for Earth Day.

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