Beyond the Northern Lights
by text and illustrations by Lynn Blaikie
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by Olga Stein
Batik is the chosen medium of illustrator and artist Lynn Blaikie. This book relies mostly on elements from First Nations narratives and figurative art, especially in its representations of the natural world. There are symbols from Christianity here as well, integrated with taste and subtlety into the more traditional evocations of man's spiritual connection to animals in their various habitats.
The text, also written by Blaikie, is a long poem describing a girl's dream journey, taken with several animals, and her communion with the ancient spirits they represent. "Raven, will you warm me/by a crackling fire pit,/Where hand in hand the spirits dance,/ Where elders come to sit,/ Where ancient wisdom blesses me/ Each time the fire's lit?/ Raven, warm me, Raven." The text is easy to read, and is sure to transport the young bedtime reader to that magnificent other world wrought by Blaikie's rich art and her lovely, rhyming text. ò