Sky Dancers

By Kirkus Reviews

Set in the 1930s, nonfiction author Kirk’s debut picture book tells the story of John Cloud, a young Mohawk boy, and his relationship with his steelworker father, who is helping to build the Empire State Building. One weekend, John Cloud, his mother, and his grandfather travel from the reservation upstate to visit John Cloud’s father in New York City. In full-bleed spreads, Hale captures the energy and excitement of the trip, from the train ride to the family’s arrival to the moment John Cloud spots his father working way up high. Gouache illustrations draw on period influences such as the Depression-era city scenes of Edward Hopper and Art Deco angles and lines. Kirk’s research into the Mohawk culture and the experience of Native steelworkers adds authenticity, making this a true-to-life portrait of family life and traditions.