English & Cree
My love for Julie Flett’s beautiful art and lyrical stories knows no bounds. I’m thrilled that We All Play is finally out in the world…today!! Flett’s most recent story celebrates how both animals and children frolic outside, playing and enjoying nature around them. I was also delighted to see a child with a (presumed) limb difference swimming and playing without it being specifically mentioned.
Animals slip and slide, rumble and roll…and children play too! The repetitive phrase of how children play too, with the Cree translation, reminds all of us how similar we are and how interconnected to the natural world. Julie Flett has the incredible ability to have minimalist illustrations with adorable small details and evocative language. In the back is a lengthy glossary with all the animals mentioned in English, translated to Cree and then options for multiple tenses as well.
We All Play is a beautiful example that celebrates nature and animals, while still having the human experience at the forefront. Children of color are joyfully outdoors, spending time together during all seasons. Something Flett excels at is showing children in motion with a realistic yet artistic style. Hair sways, arms swing, legs kick. This story is just the most recent classic that Flett has created, and I can’t get over the adorableness of the page with the owls snuggled up sleeping against the bobcats!
This book was kindly sent by Greystone Kids, but all opinions are my own.
Julie Flett is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki (Tradewind Books), and My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books).
Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014–2015.