Brian Deines

Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits' midnight dance. It isn't easy for the younger sister to be silent, but gradually she begins to treasure the stillness and the wonderful experiences it brings. After an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits --- the northern lights --- dancing and shimmering in the night sky.

This powerful story, with its stunning illustrations, captures the chill of a northern night, the warmth of the family circle and the radiance of a child's wonder.

978-1-55074-699-0 | Sep 1, 2002
List Price: USD $8.99, CAD $8.99
4-color 10 x 9 32 pages
Grades: K To 3 / Ages: 5 to 8
978-1-5253-0855-0 | Apr 15, 2021
List Price: USD $5.99, CAD $5.99

Awards & Reviews

“Stunning illustrations capture the radiance and awe of this nighttime experience.”
— Book Links, March 2009
“Deines's palette perfectly captures the northern cold and the warm relationship the girls have with one another and those around them.”
— School Library Journal, November 2008
“Young people will recognize their own awe in the face of a wintry night reading SkySisters. Jan Bourdeau Waboose, a Nishinawbe Ojibwa from Northern Ontario, writes about two girls who go into the woods to look for the “SkySpirits” - the Northern Lights. Waboose's richly evocative tale comes with dreamy illustrations by Brian Deines.”
— Maclean's, December 2000
“SkySisters is a gorgeous book. Readers will undoubtedly linger on each page to enjoy the masterful work of Brian Deines. In SkySisters he guides us immediately from the warm, comforting colours of the kitchen to the cool, quiet colours of an evening in the North. A spectacular painting appears at the climax of the story as the sisters lie in the snow, staring up in exhilaration at the vibrant swath of the Northern Lights above them.”
— Children's Book News, August 2000
“Two themes stand out in this book: the sisters' love of nature and their delight in each other's company, both important elements in the author's heritage as a Nishanawbe Ojibway from Northern Ontario.”
— Winnipeg Free Press, January 2001
“Bourdeau's story is engaging. She writes successfully from the point of view of the younger child. Her language and text are simple and yet capture the magic and poetry of the northern lights. Deines' illustrations are also magic. He draws the reader into the crisp wintry landscape. He depicts children who are real and full of energy. Hid rich deep colours bring the Northern Lights to life and make the reader long for a late night trek of her own.”
— Calgary Herald, November 2000
“The text and pictures work together to express the sense of wonder and excitement that surrounds the phenomenon of the Northern Lights.”
— School Library Journal, January 2001
“Two Ojibway sisters set off across the frozen north country to see the SkySpirits' midnight dance, and after an exhilarating walk and patient waiting, the girls are rewarded by the arrival of the SkySpirits - the Northern Lights.”
— Books for Growing Minds, October 2000
“Waboose couches her big-and-little-sister story in Native American lore. Two Ojibway girls venture out one cold night for an unclear purpose, following their grandmother's advice: “Wisdom comes on silent wings”. Along the way, they encounter three guardian spirits: a rabbit, a deer, and a coyote. At last, they arrive at Coyote Hill, where they see the object of their journey: the Northern Lights, or SkySpirits, who dance in the frigid, starry sky. By book's end, when the older sister renames the SkySpirits “SkySisters”, it's plain how the simple journey has drawn the sisters together.”
— Booklist, November 2000
2005 - First Nation Communities Read, Short-listed
2001 - Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award, Short-listed
2001 - CCBC Choices 2001, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner
2000 - Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, Canadian Library Association, Short-listed
2000 - Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine, Winner

Also Recommended