Books by Michael Lonechild

QU’APPELLE by David Bouchard
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Bouchard (That's Hockey, below, etc.) uses his childhood recollections to preserve an old legend in written form. Two children, Ikciv and Witonia, forge a friendship and love that brings them into adulthood. When Ikciv is called to war, Witonia falls ill. As he bravely fights, her village mourns her. Once he returns and finds his beloved gone, he sets out in search of her. It's believed that it is her voice that calls out for her loved one and his that responds, "Who calls?," which in French is "Qui Appelle." With a gentle rhythm, the romanticized legend is recounted in un-rhyming stanzas that flow effortlessly from one to another, with an uneven rhythm that is less poetic than narrative. Lonechild, a Cree artist who drew upon his own memories of the Saskatchewan prairie and its images, has created boxed paintings to illuminate each page of the recounting. Rich with the greens and lush colors of the prairie in all its seasons, the illustrations are vivid in detail and speak with images of the days of which Bouchard speaks. One might have wished for the designer to allow these works the full page, but the effect is that of an art catalog: lovely, but leaving the reader wishing for more. A poet's note explains the origin of the legend and the importance of the Qu'Appelle Valley. Few offerings of poetry from the Native American community are available, making the inclusion of this accessible narrative poem a thoughtful selection for most libraries. (Poetry. 10+)Read full book review >