Congratulations on the publication of WHY WE DANCE: A STORY OF HOPE AND HEALING by Deidre Havrelock, illustrated by Aly McKnight released yesterday from Harry N. Abrams!

From Indigenous creative team Deidre Havrelock and Aly McKnight comes a powerful and exuberant story about the heritage, joy, and healing power of the Jingle Dress Dance—a perfect read-aloud picture book.

It’s a special day—the day of the Jingle Dress Dance! Before the big powwow, there’s a lot to do: getting dressed, braiding hair, packing lunches, and practicing bounce-steps. But one young girl gets butterflies in her stomach thinking about performing in front of her whole community. When the drumbeats begin, though, her family soothes her nerves and reminds her why she dances.

Emerging historically in response to the global influenza pandemic of 1918–19, the Jingle Dress Dance is a ceremonial dance of healing and prayer that still thrives today in many Indigenous and First Nations communities across North America. Lyrically and rhythmically written with lush, full-color illustrations, Why We Dance is a joyous celebration of a proud Indigenous tradition that inspires hope, resilience, and unity.

Deidre Havrelock is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, Canada. She was raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and is the author of the picture book Buffalo Wild!, hailed as an “exuberant celebration,” and Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge, coauthored with Edward Kay. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis, with her family.

Deidre is represented by Amy Tompkins.

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