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We All Play

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Animals and kids love to play! This book celebrates diversity and the interconnectedness of nature through an Indigenous perspective, complete with a glossary of Cree words for wild animals at the back of the book, and children repeating a Cree phrase throughout the book. Readers will encounter birds who chase and chirp, bears who wiggle and wobble, whales who swim and squirt, owls who peek and peep, and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting:

We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna

40 pages, Hardcover

First published May 25, 2021

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About the author

Julie Flett

30 books127 followers
Julie Flett is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General's Award for Children's Literature for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki (Tradewind Books), and My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books).

Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014–2015.

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5 stars
343 (39%)
4 stars
395 (45%)
3 stars
122 (13%)
2 stars
14 (1%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 211 reviews
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,231 reviews398 followers
November 2, 2021
An absolutely beautiful book, showing some very cute animals! Just as the title suggests - We all play - animals enjoy being with their family and friends just like we do! Whilst showing children having outdoor fun, we see the animals day too, how they explore, are inquisitive, have fun and eventually get tired and go to sleep, cuddled up with their parents and siblings, just like small humans do!

What makes this book really special is the addition of some Cree words and at the back a list of animals featured, the Cree names and some helpful hints on pronunciation. A fascinating but easy to understand table gives you the plural names for each animal and the name for a small/young or cute version of each. A gentle story and a lovely starting point for learning something about the Cree culture.

Julie Flett is a Cree - Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards for her work including a Governor General’s Award and the American Indian Library Association Award.
Profile Image for Julie.
1,948 reviews38 followers
November 12, 2021
I loved the author's dedication to her father, which acknowledges his impact on her life: "kinanâskomitin, dad, for your gentle heart and the medicine of your humor. Growing up with you taught me about our connections to the land and inspires so much of the work that I do."

The illustrations are lovely and the text is playful. Reading this book while looking at each picture of animals or children at play slowed down my thoughts and and provided relaxation. My favorite picture is of the bobcats (pisiwak in Cree) that "nudge and nuzzle." A list of all the Cree names for animals is listed in the glossary.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
December 17, 2021
Lovely picture book by Cree-Metis Julie Flett, including Cree names for each animal and other things throughout. The art is the main draw here, simple and crisp and sweet, though another plus is that it's dedicated to her father, who taught her about nature and its relations to humans.
Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 2 books228 followers
May 28, 2021
“...Whether we are running and hopping through the grass or rolling along the street or pondering creatures in the creek, we are all connected, living in relationship and in care of one another, in kinship. In Cree, this is called wâhkôhtowin.” Julie Flett in the author's note.

Exquisitely illustrated, connective, gentle, playful. A refreshing, calm breath.
Profile Image for Erin Buhr.
Author 5 books34 followers
November 30, 2021
A warm, cozy book for young children. This was written by a Cree author and has Cree words imbedded into it's text. The picture book combines short phrases and gentle illustrations and ends with bedtime which makes this a wonderful book to curl up together and read before bedtime.
Profile Image for Nadine in NY Jones.
2,747 reviews217 followers
October 31, 2021
A sweet picture book with simple words and simple art showing how animals are like people (or, how people are like animals). Nice details in the art (like a dung beetle rolling bison poop) will reward children who study the pictures.

Kids who love to pretend to be animals will love this.

Animals hide
and hop
and sniff
and sneak
and peek
and peep.
We play too!
kimetawanaw mina

I was disappointed that there weren't more Cree words worked into the story. Many words are listed in a glossary, but just a few are used in the body of the story. Not many kids sit patiently to listen to what's in the glossary.
Profile Image for Nicole.
312 reviews1 follower
February 8, 2021
ART IS GORGEOUS. I really loved this one because it includes words from the Cree language and has a resource that allows you to hear how each is pronounced. Pretty cool and much needed.

I received this advance reader copy from a giveaway sponsored by the publisher--thanks!
Profile Image for Tasha.
4,117 reviews104 followers
July 29, 2021
Children and animals both love to play. This picture book incorporates Cree words into the narrative. Animals play in the grass, hopping, sniffing, sneaking. They peek and peep. Children play too, leaping through the grass or laying down in it. Animals swim and so do children. Animals slide and rumble and wiggle, just like children sledding in the snow. Animals settle down, roosting and yawning, finally falling asleep. Children do too.

Told in very simple language, woven with Cree words, this picture book shows the connection the natural world and its value to children in particular. The Cree words repeat with the children themselves saying them, something that would be great to do in a story time when this book is shared. The illustrations show a diverse group of children playing outside, acting just like the animals. A glossary of Cree words is offered at the end of the book along with a list of the animals who appear on the pages.

A frolic of a picture book that speaks to the importance of outdoor play. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Profile Image for Roben .
2,066 reviews6 followers
July 3, 2021
A lovely comparison of animals playing and children playing which emphasizes the connection between everything in nature. There are Cree words included in the text and also Cree names for the animals in an afterword. This would make a wonderful read aloud in story time and if you want to make sure you pronounce everything correctly, you can visit https://greystonebooks.com/products/w... which has a wonderful teacher's guide and a link to pronunciation.
I was going to talk about play being a child's work (a thought that has been attributed to Rousseau, Montessori, Piaget, and Mr. Rogers) but I think it would be more accurate to say that play has purpose - even if there is no thought to that purpose while it is occurring. Animal play often has purpose, too. It might be practicing hunting skills or food gathering or agility. Even as they play, children are learning and developing. So encourage your child to explore nature, to learn, and to play!
Profile Image for Edward Sullivan.
Author 5 books204 followers
January 7, 2022
A joyful celebration of play and the diversity and interconnectedness of nature through an indigenous perspective, complete with a glossary of Cree words for wild animals at the back of the book, and children repeating a Cree phrase throughout the book. Lovely illustrations rendered in pencil and pastels.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,197 reviews9 followers
February 2, 2022
I've been a fan of Julie Flett's illustrations for a long while, and this book brings her gorgeous and distinctive aesthetic together with simple but compelling text, perfect for little ones both in an individual setting as well as in storytime. Action words invite the reader to think of ways to embody them, and the book as a whole is playful. The text itself plays with alliteration and similar vowel sounds, and the illustrations play with animals both big and small demonstrating the same words. Poses from both animals and children are highly energetic and expressive. Three Cree phrases are used and repeated, rooting the book firmly in Flett's culture, but the author's notes on pronunciation, Cree words for the animals in the illustrations, and a sweet note about her memories of play with her father invite us all to play along with her. Just perfect.
Profile Image for Abby Johnson.
3,373 reviews313 followers
November 17, 2021
Perfect for storytime, the simple text of this repetitive picture book describes all different kinds of ways that animals and human children play. This would be great for a storytime about animals or movement and I think you could incorporate lots of participation. The earth-toned illustrations are a good match for a book celebrating the natural world and our place in it.
Profile Image for Kelly Johnson.
8 reviews
October 16, 2021
Beautiful illustrations and gorgeously playful text. We all Play is a perfect addition to our growing collection of Julie Flett stories in the learning commons.
Profile Image for Ms. Arca.
1,127 reviews47 followers
October 24, 2021
Simple, sweet. Interconnectedness/ respect for animals and our planet woven in. Partially in English and partially in Cree, lovely playful art.

Great for 0-5 crew.
Profile Image for Moonkiszt.
2,043 reviews212 followers
September 13, 2021
Featured in a grandma reads session.

An endearing book that encourages play, each page showing that kids play, and animals play all in many of the same ways. Underscoring all is that the play each species engages in is important to their lives and their development as they grow. Play may seem random and just a reaction of a happy-go-lucky spirited creature, but it is much more intentional and purposeful to meeting their futures and finding their way in the world.

My group enjoyed this. . .they pretty much dig anything with animals in it.
Profile Image for Kate.
796 reviews49 followers
May 20, 2021
I'm a longtime fan of Julie Flett, she writes the most touching and thoughtful children's books. Her newest one, WE ALL PLAY is a tender display of children and animals connection through playfullness and nature. With simple text and beautiful artwork this is sure to be a favorite in our house for the foreseeable future. My daughter who is three loves all the animals and in no time will have this sweet book memorized. I particularly love how Flett's books always bring diversity to our bookshelf. This one includes Cree language throughout as well as English and a list of all the animals in it in English and Cree too. Thank you to @greystonekidsbooks
for sending us this lovely book opinions are my own.

For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong
Profile Image for Kate.
45 reviews
January 24, 2021
Beautiful, soft illustrations. Lovely tone throughout the whole book explicitly connecting us to the natural world of which we are a part. The text probably lends itself very well to storytimes that want to incorporate gross motor movement, nature themes, and/or gorgeous #ownvoices books by Native authors & illustrators. Includes a pronunciation guide for the Cree vocabulary that is printed in Standard Roman Orthography and used throughout. Should definitely be on every children's librarians' purchase list for their school or public library. Thanks to Greystone for making an eARC available as part of ALA Midwinter 2021.
Profile Image for Emilie.
155 reviews5 followers
October 17, 2020
A short picture book describing the movements and play of animals with a chorus of children saying they play too, in both English and Cree.

AMAZING illustrations. I could not take my eyes off of them. The text is also very good - sparse but well-chosen words offer themselves up for physical engagement with young readers as well as learning new vocabulary without being overwhelming.

A grand diversity of characters and book of indigenous joy. Love it. Will use it for storytimes almost certainly.
Profile Image for Andrew.
1,506 reviews82 followers
March 25, 2021
Every Julie Flett book is a treasure that ought to be in every child's library-- simplistic, soft illustrations of animals and children that always radiate a peaceful feeling. In We All Play, Flett shows all sorts of adorable critter families and the ways that they play-- hopping, swimming, rumbling, and so much more-- just like we humans do, too! We All Play is sweet, delightful, and alive.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,928 reviews90 followers
June 1, 2021
This is a delightful and gentle book that compares the play of animals in their natural habitats with those of children enjoying the great outdoors. A sweet reminder that Earth's beings have more than a few things in common with one another, and you learn some Cree vocabulary too!
1,019 reviews3 followers
July 7, 2021
Thanks, Roben, for your review which made me want to read this one! I agree it is a beautiful book and I love the linking of ourselves to the natural world. We have veered so far from that idea. Great list of Cree words for the animals, their babies, and their groups at the end.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 211 reviews

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