Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 3 to 8
- Grade: p to 3
A touching and thoughtful gift for the art lovers in your life.
BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, KIRKUS, HORN BOOK, QUILL & QUIRE, GLOBE AND MAIL
WINNER OF THE TD CANADIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL’S AWARD
AN AMERICAN INDIAN YOUTH LITERATURE HONOR TITLE
A BOSTON GLOBE––HORN BOOK HONOR BOOK
When Katherena and her mother move to a small town, Katherena feels lonely and out of place. But when she meets an elderly woman artist who lives next door, named Agnes––her world starts to change.
Katherena and Agnes share the same passions for arts and crafts, birds, and nature. But as the seasons change, can Katherna navigate the failing health of her new friend?
Award-winning author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships, shared passions, and spending time outdoors with the ones we love.
Includes a glossary and pronunciation guide to Cree words that appear in the text.
“Cree-Métis author/illustrator Julie Flett's smooth and lyrical words and gorgeous... images truly capture the warmth and solidarity of the female protagonists in this tender intergenerational friendship story.”—The Horn Book
“Cycling from spring to spring, [Julie Flett’s] subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the author
Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You, written by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and the Canadian Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award in 2015 for Dolphins SOS, written by Roy Miki (Tradewind Books) and in 2017 for My Heart Fills with Happiness, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.
An American Indian Youth Literature Honor Title
A 2020 Boston Globe—Horn Book Award Honor Title: Picture books
A Capital Choices 2020 selection
A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies 2020 Title
A Chicago Public Library 'Best of the Best' Title
“[Birdsong] shows young readers how new friends can sometimes ease them; that this friendship is an intergenerational one between fellow artists is an especially sweet touch. Emotionally stunning.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Flett’s subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons. Cree-Métis words (defined in a small glossary) add an intimate layer of identity to the child’s lustrous narration, which shines against the spare beauty of rich illustrations by Flett.”
—Publishers Weekly(Starred Review)
“Simple and profound, this tender story is a reminder that finding a new friend can make a new place feel like home. Highly recommended for purchase.”
—School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Birdsong is about embracing the many natural cycles that run through our lives.”
—Quill & Quire(Starred Review)
“Birdsong by Julie Flett...is an absolutely perfect picture book. Flett’s warm textured pencil and pastel illustrations are a perfect match for her stunningly lyrical text.”
“Beautifully written and sensitively illustrated, Birdsong will gently and profoundly wash over readers in unexpected ways.”
—Books to Borrow, Books to Buy
“Perhaps most exciting, this fall sees a blossoming of books by Indigenous authors and illustrators, long largely overlooked by the industry. There are such established creators as Julie Flett (Cree/Métis), whose picture book Birdsong presents a lovely, quiet story of intergenerational friendship.”
“Cree-Métis author/illustrator Julie Flett's smooth and lyrical words and gorgeous digitally composed pastel and pencil images truly capture the warmth and solidarity of the female protagonists in this tender intergenerational friendship story.”
“Flett’s prose and art are characteristically pared down to reveal power in simplicity. The landscape and earth’s bounty are as integral as the people are to this tender story of nothing much—just life. But, after all, what else is there?”
“A beautiful, beautiful book about change, home, unexpected cross-generational friendships, time passing, and seasons. A warm and moving story with lovely, perfect illustrations.”
“Flett fills this tender story with spare, precise language and vivid details…The text seamlessly incorporates Cree-Métis words [and] Flett’s earth-toned illustrations capture the seasons with a spare, minimalist beauty.”
—Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
“Readers will understand that just like the seasons of nature, our human lives have seasons, too... Powerful.”
“Birdsong is a solid choice for libraries looking to add culturally diverse selections to their collection. [...] The soft, muted color illustrations are reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats’ in their simplicity and complement this quiet story about friendship”
—School Library Connection
A Governor General’s Award-winning author
Praise for Wild Berries by Julie Flett
“[Flett’s] illustrations have an extraordinary, austere beauty.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A sweet commemoration of a shared experience, presented with care and infused with intimacy.”
—Kirkus Reviews(Starred Review)