Winnipeg author pens New York Times bestselling children’s book
WINNIPEG -- While juggling the duties of new motherhood amid a global pandemic, a Winnipeg author has written a New York Times bestseller.
“It was such a surprise,” said Tasha Spillett-Sumner, author of ‘I Sang You Down from the Stars.’
“When you are going through mom stuff, like (a) teething baby, changing diapers, to hear that you are on the New York Times bestseller list, it’s kind of like a shock.”
The book debuted at Number 3 on the list released April 25, 2021.
The story tells of a Cree mother preparing for her child, with the idea coming to Spillett-Sumner when she found out she was pregnant with her first child, Isabella.
She said the life of the book is in alignment with the life of her daughter.
“It’s just kind of beautiful to watch our child grow and develop and experience the world as she does, and then also to watch this book have this big beautiful life in the world at the same time,” she said.
Isabella was born on March 3, 2020, just days before Winnipeg went into a pandemic-related lockdown. Spillett-Sumner said it has been an interesting and difficult time to have a child, but the book has enabled her to create a community of pandemic parents by reaching out to others who are experiencing the same challenges.
The importance of the book goes beyond simple storytelling, according to Spillett-Sumner. It offers her daughter Isabella a chance to see her culture, family, and community portrayed in a dignified and beautiful way.
“I do think it’s the birthright of all children to have that same experience for themselves,” said Spillett-Sumner.
When asked what she is most proud of, the response was that these stories still exist.
“We have such beautiful and rich teachings, despite it all, and to continue to offer to our community members to uplift ourselves.”
-With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube