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From the Publisher:
Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with award-winning illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that celebrates the potential of every child. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life—and the new little ones on the way!
This board book is a beautiful celebration of parents’ love for a young child and how important he/she is in the world. The child in the book is depicted as Metis, but the joy and wonder of celebrating a new child as they grow from infancy to toddlerhood is universal. The spare text is reminiscent of a lullaby, and the phrasing reads as a soothing and calming song/poem. The illustrations are gentle with a soft colour palette and the depicted family is represented in a way that is sophisticated enough to be strangely both recognizably First Nations, yet broadly enough depicted to be reminiscent of other ethnicities all at the same time without being overly generic. It is an almost magical artistic talent that appears deceptively simple. Both the text and images are whimsical and joy-filled and leave a lot of room for personalization for the reader.
As an adoptive mom to Metis children, this book has been the perfect choice for us. My kids can identify with the olive-skinned child with almond eyes and dark hair. They can see themselves there, and have each identified this in their own way. The twins have pointed and said “me, me” each time we’ve read it. The beauty of this book is that the text and illustrations are loose enough and ambiguous enough to allow for flexibility in audience. Many adoptive families could use this comfortably as a resource, as could non-Metis/First Nations families. The text is vague enough to fit adopted children (young), though it does not specify adoption anywhere. The phrase “you are ours after all” hit me profoundly as I read it aloud with my children. With my three year old who is beginning to understand her birth story, it was the perfect way to reaffirm our love for her and the fact that she is a permanent member of our family. It also is allowing us to have a context to explore the kids’ heritage and celebrate their uniqueness.
- text and illustrations are loose enough and ambiguous enough to allow for flexibility in audience. Many adoptive families (with newborns or younger children) could use this comfortably as a resource, as could non-Metis/First Nations families.
Why/How Use it with kids:
- as a wonderful read-aloud for babies – newborn to age 3
- use as a book to calm a fussy child or as a before bed lullaby
- personalize your child’s story as you read – the illustrations and text leave a lot of room for this
About the Author & Illustrator:
Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada. A graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, He taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia, worked as a creative-writing and storytelling instructor with the Emily Carr University of Art + Design and was the writer in residence at the University of Alberta for 2011 and 2012 and at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2013 and 2014. His novel The Lesser Blessed is now a movie with First Generation Films.
Julie Flett studied fine arts at Concordia University in Montreal and Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. She received the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize and was nominated for the Governor Genera’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Julie is Cree-Métis and currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.