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9781550746990_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
2 ratings
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list price: $8.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: Sep 2002
ISBN:9781550746990
publisher: Kids Can Press

SkySisters

by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by Brian Deines

reviews: 2
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native american
5 of 5
2 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $8.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: Sep 2002
ISBN:9781550746990
publisher: Kids Can Press
Description

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.

About the Authors
Jan Bourdeau Waboose is a First Nations writer. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Author profile page >

Brian Deines is a fine artist and the award-winning illustrator of over 20 children's books, including A Bear in War, Bear on the Homefront, The Road to Afghanistan, and On a Snowy Night. Dragonfly Kites, part of a trilogy written by Tomson Highway, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for illustration and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. A graduate of the Alberta College of Art, Brian lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and daughter.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Jan Bourdeau Waboose is 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.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
5 to 8
Grade:
k to 3
Awards
  • Short-listed, First Nation Communities Read
  • Short-listed, Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award
  • Winner, CCBC Choices 2001, Cooperative Children's Book Center
  • Winner, Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, Canadian Library Association
Editorial Reviews

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.

— Maclean's

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.

— Winnipeg Free Press

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

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

— School Library Journal

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

— School Library Journal

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.

— Children's Book News

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.

— Books for Growing Minds

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

— Book Links

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.

— Calgary Herald

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Reader Reviews

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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Sky Sisters

"The Sky Spirits will come tonight!" promises mother. Two Ojibway sisters bundle into parkas and mittens and venture alone across the frozen Northern Ontario nighttime landscape to encounter the Sky Sisters. Mostly remembering to follow grand mother’s advice to be quiet, the girls taste icicles, hold hands and dance in snowy circles, howl with the coyotes, make snow angels, and encounter a rabbit and a deer. They climb Coyote Hill where they watch and wait. The sky fills with dancing, streaming colours—The Northern Lights—Sky Spirits! The illustrations perfectly capture the cold northern night and the warmth of the girls’ spirits.

Waboose is an Nishnawbe Ojibway. The book is a Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice. She also wroteMorning on the Lake, also listed in this catalogue.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.

Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Sky Sisters

This is a story of two Ojibway sisters and their nighttime search for the SkySpirits (northern lights). The two, called in Anishnabe simply Nishiime (younger sister) and Nimise (older sister) set off alone on a cold, clear winter night to see the SkySpirits. With Nimise leading, they make their way to the top of a snowy hill. Along the way they encounter nighttime animals and find icicles to eat. The story effectively portrays the relationship between the sisters and the mood of the quiet night. The illustrations reinforce the mood and convey the feeling of the cold, clear night well. The book includes an explanation of the Anishnabe words used. Waboose’s other books include Morning on the Lake and Firedancers. Deines also illustrated Bear on the Trainand The Hockey Tree.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2007-2008.

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