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We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp. Illustrated by Julie Flett. Orca, 2016

“ We sang you from a wish / We sang you from a prayer / We sang you home / and you sang back … ” The words in this board book are simple and yet sophisticated in their meaning as they communicate the unconditional love parents feel for their child. It’s as comforting as a lullaby, and the elegant illustrations by Cree/Métis artist Julie Flett complement Richard Van Camp’s text perfectly. They initially show a mom and dad sitting outside, singing up to the sky. Next they appear with a tiny baby in a carrier, watching a flock of birds move across the sky. Succeeding pages show the baby growing just a bit older until he or she is crawling. The final wordless page shows the parents in the same outdoor setting as the first page, this time the baby with them as they sing again to the sky. (Ages birth–2)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: The poem “To a Child” and listen to the accompanying song from CD.
  • Talk: About your first day at home or your first day with your family. Do you remember anything? What does your family remember?
  • Sing: What songs do you sing with your family? When do you sing them? Who do you sing them with? Sing one of your family songs.
  • Write: Together write a love “note” to each other.
  • Play: Learn American Sign Language signs for “family,” “love,” “together,” and “play.”
  • Math or Science: How many different animals can you find? Count them. Talk about daytime and nighttime. How can you tell the difference from picture to picture?

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