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Children's Fiction Baby Animals

We All Play

illustrated by Julie Flett

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
May 2021
Baby Animals, Friendship, Native American, Imagination & Play
Recommended Age
0 to 2
Recommended Grade
p to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Oct 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


A BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post, New York Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, Globe and Mail, Horn Book, and Boston Globe

STARRED Reviews in Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, The Horn Book, School Library Journal

A 2022 Best Book for Babies

From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7.

Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:

  • birds who chase and chirp!
  • bears who wiggle and wobble!
  • whales who swim and squirt!
  • owls who peek and peep!
  • and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting:

We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna

At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story. A beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.

This book also includes:

  • A glossary of Cree words for wild animals in the book
  • A pronunciation guide and link to audio pronunciation recordings

About the author

Julie Flett is an award-winning Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist. She has received many awards, including the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You, written by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and the Canadian Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award in 2015 for Dolphins SOS, written by Roy Miki (Tradewind Books) and in 2017 for My Heart Fills with Happiness, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books), and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book Owls See Clearly at Night (Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alphabet di Michif). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014-2015.


Julie Flett's profile page


  • Winner, Bull-Bransom Illustration Award

Editorial Reviews

A Best Children's Book of 2021—New York Times, Washington Post, New York Public Library, Kirkus Reviews, Globe and Mail, Horn Book, and Boston Globe


A 2022 Best Book for Babies
"Stunning artwork shows animals and children at play in a picture book that can be enjoyed by babies and will remain engaging as children grow."



A Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice for 2022—Picture Books for Younger Children
“Rhythmic alliterative word-pairs describing animals’ play are followed by the children’s univocal refrain celebrating our interconnectedness: ‘We play too!’”
New York Times
“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… This celebration of nature is sprinkled with words from the Cree language… [and] celebrate[s] our interconnection with the creatures who share our world.”
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
“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
“Lively and beautiful illustrated.”
Horn Book, STARRED review
“Cree words are coupled with their English translations in this sweeping picture book that celebrates animals and nature. Kids will see themselves in the different scenes of play.”
—New York Public Library
“Delightful….a great bedtime story…..Add to any library collection and pair it with Julie Flett’s Birdsong.”
School Library Journal, STARRED review
“A beautifully illustrated book that introduces a series of young animals at play, then relates their activities to those of children … affirming our oneness with nature.”
“The bold and simple illustrations and short but dynamic text make this a fantastic book for very young readers.”
“Stunning illustrations, fun alliteration, a fantastic vocabulary, and shout-it-out repetition make this a favorite… The images are soft, warm, and full of exuberant movement.”
Christian Science Monitor
“We adore this title as an addition to our kindergarten books that celebrate the magic of play. Written in both English and Cree, we love using this title to celebrate native languages and connections to nature, too.”
We Are Teachers
“This jubilant picture book uses gamboling animals and kids to illustrate the Cree concept of wâhkôhtowin, or the kinship among living things.”
Shelf Awareness
“This simple, lilting story is perfect for showing babies, toddlers, and early readers the joyful interconnections between animals and humans.”
—Seattle Public Library
“Take up this title’s invitation to head outdoors, romping and reveling in the communal playground of our natural world.”
Classroom Bookshelf
“A delightful book that explores the frolicking nature of animals and people, alike. With a soft color palette, the illustrations complement the rhythm of the book. Author Julie Flett interlinks Cree and English introducing readers to a North American Indigenous population.”
We All Play is a beautiful example that celebrates nature and animals ...This story is just the most recent classic that Flett has created.”
The Tiny Activist
“Perfect for the very young children at whom it’s aimed, and bold, uncluttered images to draw their eye. It’s spectacular in its seeming simplicity.”
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
“Exquisitely illustrated (as all of Julie Flett's work is), connective, gentle, playful. A refreshing, calm breath that connects kids to themselves, each other, and the natural world, all through play.”
This Picture Book Life
“Kids will love the beautiful illustrations of the different animals portrayed on simple white backgrounds, and the pictures of the children may inspire them to get up and move like the animals.”
A Kids Book a Day
“Any time Flett (Cree-Métis) puts out a new book, take note! This picture book is a good read-aloud for toddlers up to primary grade children.”
—Association of Library Services for Children
“Wonderful…a beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.”
Here Wee Read

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