Long ago and far away, a song was sung on the wind and is still journeying to soothe children to slumber.
It begins when an Indigenous child wrapped in her mother’s warm arms requests a lullaby about the sea. This mother begins, “In a long-ago place in a faraway time / A story was sung to the wind. / Mama told it to me, and I’ll tell it to you, / And the wind might catch it again,” and sings about the vast beauty of the saltwater world below an endless sky. The song goes next to a fishing vessel, where a pale-skinned boy asks his fisherman father for a story about a world of ice. His papa tells him of a faraway land covered in snow and ice. The song then passes to an Arctic Native grandmother and a young, brown-skinned child in a crib, listening to the stories on the wind outside the window. With each singer, the refrain varies slightly to suit. Historically around the globe, adult caregivers have comforted children by singing them to sleep. Everson’s 14 beautiful verses have the potential to continue this tradition. Her serene words are complemented by Native artist Bourgeois’ surreal, luminous illustrations. Muted and otherworldly, the colors and images bring depth to the text, bathing each of the families depicted with light.
A joy. (Picture book. 3-6)