Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: As a mother awaits her baby’s arrival, she gathers items for a medicine bundle: an eagle feather, cedar and sage, a handmade star blanket, and a stone. When the baby is born, the mother presents the different items: the feather as a reminder of beauty all around, cedar and sage to keep the spirit strong, and a stone to remember the stories from the land and from within. The blanket is to wrap the baby, as the mother whispers, “I loved you before I met you. Before I held you in my arms, I sang you down from the stars.” Includes notes from the author and the illustrator. 32 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade has created some spectacular illustrations, with what she refers to in her artist’s note as “swoosh” around each depiction of the mother and baby. She writes that the swoosh depicts “a flow of energy that connects all living things on a metaphorical level and connects from one page to the next on a literal level.” As the baby is given each gift, visual references are made to the illustrations when the mother gathered each item. The author’s note tells how the story connects to her Inniniwake Nation. An excellent and unique gift for a new baby.
Cons: The story may appeal more to parents than to children, at least at first.