Birdsong

by Julie Flett

Katherena, a young Cree girl, and her mother move from their home by the sea to the... read more

Katherena, a young Cree girl, and her mother move from their home by the sea to the country. Over the course of a year, Katherena adapts to her new home and grows close to Agnes, an older woman who lives nearby. Both are creative: Katherena draws; Agnes works with clay. They also share an appreciation for nature. Agnes shows Katherena how to work in the garden and teaches her about the stages of the moon. Katherena tells Agnes about Cree seasons. When winter comes, Katherena and her mother make salmon stew for Agnes, who needs a bit of extra help in the cold season. Agnes gives her a handful of snowdrop bulbs in return. By the time spring returns, Agnes is too weak to leave her bed, so Katherena hangs all of her bird drawings on the walls of her friend’s bedroom, assembling what Agnes calls “a poem for her heart.” A deep, earth-tone palette accompanies this gentle story of change, love, and loss conveyed through the rhythm of seasons and the undisrupted pattern of life. (Ages 4-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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