Books by Shelley Willier

THE DRUM CALLS SOFTLY by David Bouchard
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 16, 2008

With paired verses in English and Cree matched to broad, finely detailed scenes of dancing silhouettes placed against semi-abstract backgrounds, this illustrated poem compellingly invites readers to join the Round Dance at a powwow. The authors—he of Métis descent, she a member of the Sucker Creek First Nation Reserve—use a child's voice, but the language is allusive, often mystical: "Have you danced the round dance yet? / Of course you have—you're in my dream. / You've danced in circles next to me. / You know things aren't as they seem." Illustrator Poitras—of Cree, Salteaux and Métis heritage—provides often equally obscure images (one depicts two weeping faces behind a fragmented barrier on which are painted an eye, a travois, a buffalo and a handprint) that nevertheless can provide valuable context (another sets the powwow inside a hockey rink). Readers will come away hearing the drums—both figuratively and literally, as this is packaged with a CD that includes readings in both languages, plus two tracks of traditional-style dance music. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10) Read full book review >