We All Play

Greystone. May 2021. 48p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771646079.
PreS-Gr 2–This delightful picture book features woodland animals, found in North America, mirroring playtime for children: “Animals hide and hop and sneak and sniff and peep. We play, too! kimêtawânaw mîna.” The children are happy, playing and tiring themselves out, then resting by the end of the book. It is a great bedtime story. The words in English are simple and could easily be memorized and then recognized by early readers. The illustrations are warm and inviting; the animal families are depicted in soft, smudged painterly colors. At the end of the book is a glossary of Cree words for the animals in singular, plural, and diminutive forms, along with words for child and baby. The pronunciation for these words can be found on a website. The author’s note provides a summary of the book, explaining the kinship between humans and animals in Cree culture and the interconnectedness to “the land, plants, the earth, wind, water and sky.”
VERDICT Add to any library collection and pair it with Julie Flett’s Birdsong.

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