Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

SkySisters

Deines, Brian (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2002. 32 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9781550746990 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, figurative language, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Two Ojibway sisters set off one cold, clear night to see the Northern Lights. Along the way they share many memorable moments: they make snow angels, watch a passing deer and quietly enjoy the nature around them. Told from the perspective of the younger sister, who must obey her older sister, the author captures the wonderful dynamic that exists between the siblings. As the sisters make their way toward the Northern Lights, anticipation builds for the reader.

The oil-on-canvas illustrations resemble impressionist paintings. Violets and purples blend to create the crisp winter night sky that guides the two girls.

The poetic language, infused with Ojibway expressions, reflects the respect that their First Nations community has for nature.

Readers are rewarded at the end when the two girls finally see the Northern Lights brought to life with bursting colours. It is a beautiful tribute to Canada’s northern culture and a true wonder of nature.

  •  

    Brainstorm what the story might be about based on the title and cover illustrations. 

  •  

    Look up other names for the Northern Lights. Learn how and where this phenomenon occurs.

  •  

    Create an acrostic poem using the word SkySister or SkySpirit. Highlight the emotions conveyed in the story.

  •  

    Think about the grandmother’s words: “Wisdom comes on silent wings.” How do they apply to the story?

  •  

    Describe what you see in the illustrations. What do you notice about the colours? What do you know about the Northern Lights?

  •  

    Discuss sisters' relationship. Compare it to your own relationship with a sibling. Find references to Ojibway traditions. How do they feel about nature? 

  •  

    Make a class list of figurative expressions from the book (e.g. “blanket of snow,” “dark arms of the balsam tree”). Write and share a description of a winter scene using figurative language.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Science and Technology