Dancing In My Bones

3 November 2009

Dancing in My Bones
by Wilfred Burton and Anne Patton
Published by the Gabriel Dumont Institute
Review by Arnold J. Isbister
$12.95 ISBN 978-0-920915-89-9

I found this book insightful and entertaining. It is a good read for young people and adults as well. It takes you into a young boy’s life and shows how his culture plays such an important part in his upbringing. The language of the story is simple with the words written as the people would talk in such situations. I love the full page (21x28cm) colored illustrations with the story in English and below in Michif. These dimensions make the book more entertaining and engaging and make it feel good in the hands as you read, especially to kids who want to see the images whilst peeking over your shoulder. They are big, full of color and full of life, making the imagination ‘dance’. I greatly admire the imagery like the supper scene or the scene where Uncle Bunny is sitting and starting to play his violin as his foot taps the floor. These bring back fond memories that most can identify with. This is why I recommend this book for adults as well because most who have lived this life will remember and go back to their younger years. This book is perfect for a Moushoom to Nooshishim bedtime story where I see both falling asleep with smiles on their faces.

In addition to being a good read with fantastic imagery, I thought the glossary was a great idea. The recipe idea and add-on was genius and should be expanded on, maybe including some cultural staples such as bannock and Muskeg tea. Last but not least is the CD with actual music from this culture that makes you live the story. Play the tunes as you read and the imagery becomes that much more vivid.


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