Still This Love Goes on

by Buffy Sainte-Marie (Author) Julie Flett (Illustrator)

Still This Love Goes on
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

"A love letter to family, home, and Indigenous traditions ... This story reminds readers of the joy we experience upon returning to those whom we love and who love us."--Kirkus ★ Review

From Cree-Métis artist Julie Flett and Academy Award-winning icon Buffy Sainte-Marie comes a celebration of Indigenous community, and the enduring love we hold for the people and places we are far away from.

Based on Sainte-Marie's song of the same name, Still This Love Goes On combines Flett's breathtaking art with vivid lyrics to craft a stunning portrait of a Cree worldview. At the heart of this picture book is a gentle message about missing our loved ones, and the promise of seeing each other again.

This gem of a picture book features:

  • Sheet music of Buffy Sainte-Marie's beloved song
  • Notes from Sainte-Marie and Flett about their inspiration for the song and illustrations

Brimming with love for community and the land, Still This Love Goes On is destined to be read and sung for generations

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A love letter to family, home, and Indigenous traditions.


A heartfelt ode to finding meaning in traditions and the ways love and memories can endure.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

"Sat beside a beaver dam and watched the winter grow/ Ice was hard with little tracks appearing on the snow." Taking as narrative lines the lyrics of the titular song by Cree activist and musician Buffy Sainte-Marie (Tâpwê and the Magic Hat), this ode to Indigenous culture and the deeply rooted experience of reservation life speaks to the experience of holding a place dear throughout life's seasons. Pastel, pencil, and digitally finished images by Cree-Métis artist Flett (We All Play) employ organic blocks of earth tones, depicting human figures as diminutive against changing natural landscapes: a child runs across a field of flowers, and a page-turn later, surveys a snow-covered expanse on snowshoes. Soon, word and image turn to another constant--"In every dream I can smell the sweetgrass burning/ And in my heart always hear the drum" attends visuals of jingle dancers and sweetgrass smoke--hinting at a love for and connection to home that "goes on and on." Back matter includes sheet music and an author's note that encourages readers to "think about the people and places you love most in your own life." Ages 3-7. (Sept.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.


Starred Review
Flett's signature style--with its nature-evoking colors, simple, sweeping lines, and expansive composition....suggests movement into limitless space and time.... Gorgeous.

Review quotes

"Perfect for bedtime reading... [An] excellent option... for parents looking for something to read with their young children, and especially those looking for books by Indigenous authors."

—Quill & Quire

"Highly recommended. If Still This Love Goes On is not on your must-buy list yet, put it there right now. Better yet, order it, right now! ...A magnificent gift to us all.
American Indians in Children's Literature

"Beautiful...celebrates familial love and nature....gorgeous and joyous....would make a lovely gift to a new parent."
—Book Riot

Praise for We All Play written and illustrated by Julie Flett

The Cree-Métis Flett pairs rhythmic alliterative verse about animals at play with repeating silhouettes of frolicking children to celebrate our interconnectedness.
The New York Times

"Lively and beautifully illustrated."

"Cree-Métis artist Flett starts with quiet, elegant portraits of animals....In spare compositions, [she] aptly underlines [the kinship between animals and people] by showing animals and humans embracing play in similar ways."
Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

"Everyone loves to play! Award-winning author/illustrator Flett shares the joyful antics of young animals as they romp in much the same way as human children. Simple text and bold, graphic illustrations celebrate our interconnection with the creatures who share our world."
Kirkus STARRED Review

Praise for Birdsong written and illustrated by Julie Flett


"Flett's simple story explores the difficulties of moving but also shows young readers how new friends can sometimes ease them; that this friendship is an intergenerational one between fellow artists is an especially sweet touch ... Emotionally stunning."
Kirkus STARRED Review

Simple and profound, this tender story is a reminder that finding a new friend can make a new place feel like home. Highly recommended for purchase.
School Library Journal STARRED Review

Flett's subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons. Cree-Métis words (defined in a small glossary) add an intimate layer of identity to the child's lustrous narration, which shines against the spare beauty of rich illustrations by Flett (who is Cree-Métis)
Publishers Weekly STARRED Review

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a world-renowned and Academy Award-winning Cree singer-songwriter, activist, educator, and visual artist. Her other books for kids include Hey Little Rockabye, illustrated by Ben Hodson, and Tâpwê and the Magic Hat.

Julie Flett is a Cree-Métis author, illustrator, and artist who has received numerous awards for her books, including two Governor General's Awards and the American Indian Library Association Award. Her work has been reviewed widely, including in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail, and Publishers Weekly. Her books Birdsong and We All Play, also published by Greystone Kids, earned multiple starred reviews and appeared on many best of the year lists.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Greystone Kids
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039220 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Values & Virtues
JUV031040 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Music
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Songs, English
Livres d'images
Chansons anglaises
New York Times Book Review & New York Public Library
Best Illustrated Children's Books 2022

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