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Children's Fiction New Baby

I Sang You Down from the Stars

by (author) Tasha Spillett-Sumner

illustrated by Michaela Goade

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
New Baby, Parents, Native Canadian
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 2 to 5
  • Grade: 2 to 5


A New York Times and CBC Books bestselling #OwnVoices love letter from an Indigenous mother to her new baby, new from celebrated author Tasha Spillett-Sumner and 2021 Caldecott winning illustrator Michaela Goade, that honors the beauty of a little one's arrival

Drawing from Indigenous creation stories and traditional teachings and illustrated in dazzling watercolors, I Sang You Down from the Stars is a tribute to the bond between mother and child.

The narrator gathers gifts for a medicine bundle in anticipation of her baby’s birth; a fluffy white eagle plume, bunches of cedar and sage, a quilted star blanket, and a small stone from the river. When the baby arrives, the mother shares the bundle with her child and reveals the importance of each item inside. But when her family comes to meet the new arrival, she realizes the baby arrived with gifts of its own and that the baby is also a sacred bundle: a baby bundle.

Writing in simple, lyrical text, author Tasha Spillett-Sumner draws from her cultural heritage in order to celebrate Indigenous traditions and the universal nature of a mother’s love, with stunning art by the 2021 Caldecott medal winner for We Are Water Protectors, Michela Goade.


About the authors

Tasha Spillett-Sumner (she/her/hers) draws her strength from her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to community-led work that centres on land and water defence and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is working on her PhD in Education (University of Saskatchewan) and holds a Vanier Canada Award. 

Tasha Spillett-Sumner's profile page

MICHAELA GOADE is a Tlingit award-winning illustrator. She grew up in the rain forests and on the beaches of Juneau, Alaska, and still makes her home on traditional Tlingit territory today. She is the illustrator of recent picture books We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, Encounter by Brittany Luby, and Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy, winner of the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Best Picture Book Award.


Michaela Goade's profile page


  • Commended, A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2021
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • Commended, A Shelf Awareness Best Book of 2021
  • Commended, A Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2021

Editorial Reviews

"Storytelling and artwork in I Sang You Down from the Stars are both exquisite ... Readers looking for a heartwarming, inviting parent-child (mother-child) story, or those looking to gift a new family with an exceedingly beautiful picture book, I Sang You Down from the Stars is a top pick."


Fab Book Reviews

"Graceful, lyrical language is accompanied by soft, soothing, watercolor and mixed media illustrations that shimmer with light and love. If you are looking for a gift for a family with a newborn, this would be a cherished selection."

Sal's Fiction Addiction

"Beautifully expresses a mother’s hopes, dreams and love for her newborn ... Marvelously conveys not only the bonds between mother and child but also the multitude of connections that await every child—connections to family, community and Earth itself."


"[Tasha] Spillet-Sumner's tender free-verse tribute to the joy of welcoming a new baby should resonate with any caregiver who has excitedly awaited a child's arrival ... [Michaela] Goade's ethereal watercolor and mixed-media illustrations soar across the page, overflowing with gorgeous touches ... I Sang You Down from the Stars will make a beautiful gift for an expecting family as well as a read-aloud to assure children they are loved."


Shelf Awareness - STARRED REVIEW

"The care and love felt through the pages of the illustrations are dreamlike and ethereal ... The emotions stirred by word choices and visual elements can be overwhelmingly tender."

School Library Journal - STARRED REVIEW

"I Sang You Down From the Stars is, quite simply, the best book available in the 'Welcome Baby' category ... An instant timeless classic."


Canadian Review of Materials

"A tender celebration of parenthood that will resonate with Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike.”

Publishers Weekly - STARRED REVIEW

"Gorgeous, shimmering, heartfelt."

Kirkus Reviews - STARRED REVIEW

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