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by Jan Bourdeau  Waboose
Illustrated by Brian Deines

Published by Kids Can Press, 2000
32 pages
ISBN: 1-55074-697-9

Ages 5 - 9

Alex and her older sister, Allie, trek through the frozen, star-filled night toward Coyote Hill, where they will watch for the SkySpirits. "Whisper when you speak," Allie tells her, and Alex remembers the words of her Nokomis, her grandmother, who said, "Wisdom comes on silent wings." Excitement makes this hard for the sisters to remember. But the silence leaves room for Allie to think about being a younger sister, Nishiime, who follows more than leads, and to notice the sudden appearance of a rabbit and a white-tailed deer. Alex gets her turn at being the leader as they race toward the top of the hill. Catching snowflakes, listening to the coyote's howl and calling in response, spinning hand in hand, and making angels in the snow, the sisters wait for the SkySpirits to appear. When they do, blue, green, pink, and purple dance across the sky. Author Jan Bourdeau Waboose, a Nishinawbe Ojibway writer from Northern Ontario, based this story on her own childhood memories of watching the Northern Lights. Her quiet text embodies the crispness of the coldest night, the mystery of nature, and the warmth that gently teasing sisters share. Full-page illustrations cast the sisters against a landscape of night-shadowed snow and a purple-black sky alive with stars and—eventually--curtains of colored light. CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children; Seasons and Celebrations; The Natural World. (MS; Feb 19) ©2001 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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