SkySisters

SkySisters

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by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, Brian Deines
     
 

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Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits' midnight dance. It isn't easy for the younger sister to be silent, but gradually she begins to treasure the stillness and the wonderful experiences it brings. After an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits —- the northern

Overview

Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits' midnight dance. It isn't easy for the younger sister to be silent, but gradually she begins to treasure the stillness and the wonderful experiences it brings. After an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits —- the northern lights —- dancing and shimmering in the night sky.

This powerful story, with its stunning illustrations, captures the chill of a northern night, the warmth of the family circle and the radiance of a child's wonder.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Stunning illustrations capture the radiance and awe of this nighttime experience.

Deines’s palette perfectly captures the northern cold and the warm relationship the girls have with one another and those around them.

Young people will recognize their own awe in the face of a wintry night reading SkySisters. Jan Bourdeau Waboose, a Nishinawbe Ojibwa from Northern Ontario, writes about two girls who go into the woods to look for the “SkySpirits” – the Northern Lights. Waboose’s richly evocative tale comes with dreamy illustrations by Brian Deines.

SkySisters is a gorgeous book. Readers will undoubtedly linger on each page to enjoy the masterful work of Brian Deines. In SkySisters he guides us immediately from the warm, comforting colours of the kitchen to the cool, quiet colours of an evening in the North. A spectacular painting appears at the climax of the story as the sisters lie in the snow, staring up in exhilaration at the vibrant swath of the Northern Lights above them.

Two themes stand out in this book: the sisters’ love of nature and their delight in each other’s company, both important elements in the author’s heritage as a Nishanwabe Ojibway from Northern Ontario.

Bourdeau’s story is engaging. She writes successfully from the point of view of the younger child. Her language and text are simple and yet capture the magic and poetry of the northern lights. Deines’ illustrations are also magic. He draws the reader into the crisp wintry landscape. He depicts children who are real and full of energy. Hid rich deep colours bring the Northern Lights to life and make the reader long for a late night trek of her own.

The text and pictures work together to express the sense of wonder and excitement that surrounds the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits’ midnight dance, and after an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits – the Northern Lights.

Waboose couches her big-and-little-sister story in Native American lore. Two Ojibway girls venture out one cold night for an unclear purpose, following their grandmother’s advice: “Wisdom comes on silent wings.” Along the way, they encounter three guardian spirits: a rabbit, a deer, and a coyote. At last, they arrive at Coyote Hill, where they see the object of their journey: the Northern Lights, or SkySpirits, who dance in the frigid, starry sky. By book’s end, when the older sister renames the SkySpirits “SkySisters,” it’s plain how the simple journey has drawn the sisters together.

Booklist
Waboose couches her big-and-little-sister story in Native American lore. Two Ojibway girls venture out one cold night for an unclear purpose, following their grandmother’s advice: “Wisdom comes on silent wings.” Along the way, they encounter three guardian spirits: a rabbit, a deer, and a coyote. At last, they arrive at Coyote Hill, where they see the object of their journey: the Northern Lights, or SkySpirits, who dance in the frigid, starry sky. By book’s end, when the older sister renames the SkySpirits “SkySisters,” it’s plain how the simple journey has drawn the sisters together.
Book Links
Stunning illustrations capture the radiance and awe of this nighttime experience.
Books for Growing Minds
Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits’ midnight dance, and after an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits – the Northern Lights.
Children's Literature
Scientists may call this a story about the Aurora Borealis. While technically they may be correct, the folklore depicted in this rich, magical tale is considerably more. It has been passed on through generations of Indian people of Alaska. This book invites us to accompany two sisters on a night journey in search of the Sky Spirits. They leave home with their mother's blessing to follow the lighted path of Grandmother Moon. Though the climax grants the children their wishes, the journey is equally captivating. We walk through the moonlit night with sisters Nishiime and Nimise. We encounter gifts of nature along the way. A snowshoe rabbit and a deer startle, and then delight them. The cold wet snow on their tongues and the crisp air they breathe are both described and illustrated in ways that make us feel the chill and taste the snowflakes. If no words were included in this book, we would be left with pages of truly beautiful artwork, still telling a story. Whether hearing the story or reading it themselves, children will soon be checking the night skies, hoping to see for themselves this brilliant light show of nature. 2000, Kids Can Press,
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this atmospheric picture book, two young Ojibway sisters go out into the winter night to view the Aurora Borealis, which their people call the SkySpirits. As they walk through the snow, they pluck icicles from a tree, see a beautiful white rabbit, and are startled by a large deer. On top of Coyote Hill, they catch snowflakes with open arms, listen to the voices of coyotes, make snow angels, and gaze at the stars. When the Northern Lights finally appear, the girls watch in silent awe, and then decide that the SkySpirits are really SkySisters. The standout component of this quiet book is Deines's artwork. His oil-on-canvas paintings are sometimes exuberant, sometimes mysterious, and always attractive. The girls' tender relationship is evident-the older sister is protective and the younger is mildly mischievous. The incident described here is lyrical rather than riveting, but the text and pictures work together to express the sense of wonder and excitement that surrounds the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550746990
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
724,819
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Lexile:
AD470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jan Bourdeau Wabooseis a First Nations writer. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Brian Deines is a fine artist and the illustrator of Bear on the Train. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Skysisters 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author has managed to convey awe of nature, respect for each other and other life animals, all in a quiet, beautiful story of beauty, silence and wonder in a child's thoughts through little spoken words of the characters. Every child should experience this tale through real life or take the journey with the writer of Skysisters!