PE Ledger

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A picture book by a Winnipeg author teaches children about Indigenous culture

I Sang You Down from the Stars was written by Tasha Spillett-Sumner while pregnant with her daughter roughly two years ago.

Through picture books, a Winnipeg author hopes to teach young children about Indigenous culture.

I Sang You Down from the Stars was written by Tasha Spillett-Sumner while pregnant with her daughter roughly two years ago.

Isabella, her 15-month-old daughter, loves the book as well.

“I Sang You Down from the Stars is actually a love song between a mother and her child at the time when she’s hoping and longing for the child and then preparing for the child to come,” says the author.

In April, Spillett-book Sumner’s was at No. 3 on the New York Times bestsellers list.

She had previously written novels, but she felt it was especially necessary to write one for youngsters.

“I’ve always appreciated picture books,” she said, “but now that I have a daughter, it’s a new inspiration to make own-voice picture books in which our children can see themselves, our families, and our communities reflected in beautiful, dignified ways on the page.”

“Indigenous people come from such beautiful, strong teachings that have kept their nations strong and alive through some of the most horrific things… I think about how important it is, especially now as we hold our children in our arms, to do everything we can to ensure that they still have a connection to that ancestral beauty and strength.”

More publications are on the way for Spillett-Sumner, who intends to reach as many children as possible.

“I feel like it’s my obligation and part of my gift as an author to create a world worthy of my daughter, and worthy of all of our children,” she says.

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