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A is for Aboriginal. Joseph Maclean & Brendan
A is for Aboriginal is a lyrical exploration of
indigenous people. Each letter explores a name, a place or facet of
Aboriginal history and culture. The reader will discover some interesting
facets of history and tradition that are not widely known. Each
letter features text that reflect some aspect of the word
selected, followed by a list of Indigenous nations that begin with that
letter. The idea is that the phrases and names can be recited as a
poem of remembrance.
The second half of the book is a comprehensive glossary
or dictionary of all of the indigenous peoples named in the book, citing
nation names, locations and interesting facts. The main focus is on
North America with some indigenous people listed from every continent
to give a global sense of the expanse and depth of the Aboriginal story.
Akilak's Adventure. Deborah Kigjugalik Webster,
illustrated by Charlene Chua, $10.95
Akilak must travel a great distance to another camp to
gather food. Even though she at first feels that she will never be able to
reach her destination, she keeps her grandmother’s assurance that her
“destination is not running away; it will be reached eventually” in mind and
ends up enjoying the journey that at first seemed so daunting. With a little
help from her grandmother’s spirit, and her own imagination to keep her
entertained, Akilak manages to turn a long journey into an adventure.
Alego. Ningeokuluk Teevee, $17.95 (ages 5-8)
Alego is a beautiful, simple story about a young Inuit
girl who goes to the seashore with her grandmother to collect clams for supper.
Along the way she discovers tide pools brimming with life and colour. Written
in Inuktituit and English.
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All the Stars in the Sky: Native Stories from the
Heavens. C.J. Taylor, $19.99 (ages 7-10)
The heavens — the sun, the stars, and the moon — have
inspired, intrigued, and mystified us from the beginning of time. The legends —
Salish, Onondaga, Blackfoot, Netsilik (Inuit), Wasco, Ojibwa, and Cherokee —
are by turns funny, beautiful, tragic, and frightening, but each one is infused
with a sense of awe. From the Ojibwa legend of the great hunter, White Hawk,
and his love for an unattainable maiden, or the Salish legend of a magical lake
that is threatened when human beings turn greedy and lose their respect for its
gifts and for the sun’s power, to the delightful Cherokee legend of Grandmother
Spider who brought light to the world, this is an important collection that is
enhanced by Taylor’s glorious paintings.
As Long as the Rivers Flow. Larry Loyie, with Constance
Brissenden, illustrated by Heather Holmlund, $12.95 (ages 8-12)
In the 1800s, the education of First Nations children was
taken on by various churches, in government-sponsored residential schools.
Children were forcibly taken from their families in order to erase their
traditional languages and cultures.
As Long as the Rivers Flow is the story of Larry
Loyie's last summer before entering residential school. It is a time of
learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl and watches his
grandmother make winter moccasins. He helps the family prepare for a hunting
and gathering trip.
Caribou Song. Tomson Highway, illustrated by John
Rombough, $19.95 (Written in English with Cree translations)
Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the
caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with Mama and Papa. To entice
the wandering herds, Joe plays his accordion and Cody dances, whirling like a
young caribou. They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble
of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow.
Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away. Their parents seem to
have disappeared. And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into
something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to
embrace the caribou spirit.
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Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: a Navajo Code
Talker's Story. Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes, $22.99
As a young Navajo boy, Chester Nez had to leave the
reservation and attend boarding school, where he was taught that his native
language and culture were useless. But Chester refused to give up his heritage.
Years later, during World War II, Chester — and other Navajo men like him — was
recruited by the US Marines to use the Navajo language to create an unbreakable
military code. Suddenly the language he had been told to forget was needed to
fight a war. This powerful picture book biography contains backmatter including
a timeline and a portion of the Navajo code, and also depicts the life of an
original Navajo code talker while capturing the importance of heritage.
Chuck in the City. Jordan Wheeler, illustrated by
Christopher Auchter, $10.95 (ages 4-7)
Chuck can hardly wait to get out the door and explore the
city! After watching skaters and bladers, and getting chased by a rat, he gets
lost. With some serious thought, Chuck relaizes how he can find his way home.
Crow and the Waterhole. Ambelin
There was once a crow who lived in a tree by a
waterhole. Each morning, she stared into the water, and saw another crow
staring back. Crow thought Crow-in-the-waterhole was the most wonderful bird
she had ever seen.
Crow and the Waterhole is an inspiring and uplifting picture book for younger
readers, by author Ambelin Kwaymullina from the Palyku people of the
Pilbara region of Western Australia.
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Dragonfly Kites. Tomson Highway, illustrated by
Julie Flett, $19.95
Joe and Cody, two young Cree brothers, along with their
parents and their little dog Ootsie, are spending the summer by one of the
hundreds of lakes in northern Manitoba. Summer means a chance to explore the
world and make friends with an array of creatures. But what Joe and Cody like
doing best of all is flying dragonfly kites. They catch dragonflies and gently
tie a length of thread around the middle of each dragonfly before letting it
go. Off soar the dragonflies into the summer sky and off race the brothers and
Ootsie too, chasing after their dragonfly kites through trees and meadows and
down to the beach before watching them disappear into the night sky.
Elisapee and Her Baby Seagull. Nancy Mike &
Charlene Chua, $16.95 (ages 5-7)
When Elisapee’s father brings home a baby seagull,
Elisapee falls in love with the bird right away. She feeds and cares for her
new friend, named Nau, and even helps Nau learn how to fly! Nau grows, and
grows, and grows some more, until she’s big enough to fly all over town and
play with the other seagulls. Soon, it seems like Nau is ready to leave home
for good, and Elisapee has to learn how to say goodbye.
Families. Jesse Unaapik Mike, Kerry McCluskey
& Lenny Lishenko, $10.95 (ages 5-7)
Talittuq is excited to start his first day of grade two.
He is looking forward to the new school year, but as he meets his friends again
for the first time after summer vacation, he notices that a lot of his friends'
families are very different from his own. Some have one mom and one dad, and
some have only a mom. Some kids live with their grandparents. Some live with
two dads or two moms. As Talittuq hears about all the fun his friends have had
with their families, he learns that families come in many different shapes and
sizes, and what holds them all together is love!
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Fire Song. Adam Garnet Jones, $12.95
Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid
sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? What he
really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he
loves — his friend, David.
Things go from bad to worse as Shane’s dream of going to
university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst
of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels
that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses
to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make
difficult choices about their future together.
With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on
the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past
for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane’s
rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but while his path
doesn’t always offer easy answers, it does leave the reader optimistic about
Firedancers. Jan Bourdeau Waboose & CJ Taylor,
$9.95 (ages 4-8)
"What is it, Noko?" Grandmother does not
answer. Somehow, I feel that we are being watched and she knows what is there.
"I will go and see what it might be." And then I add, "I'll be
There is nothing. As night sets in and the fire crackles,
a young native girl is amazed when her grandmother invokes the spirits of their
ancestors. She learn the mystical firedance and creates a bond with her people
and their heritage that will last a lifetime.
The First Beaver. Caroll Simpson, $12.95
This is a story about trust between parents and children
and the importance of being true to oneself. Young Reedee, born with shimmering
brown hair the colour of Mother Earth, is different from the other people in
her village, and it isn’t just her hair that sets her apart. At night, while
the village sleeps, Reedee disappears into the forest. At first her parents
worry, but they soon discover their daughter has a path she must follow on her
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The First Strawberries: a Cherokee Story. Joseph
Bruchac, illustrated by Anna Vojtech, $8.50 (ages 7-9)
A captivating Cherokee folktale retelling the creation of
strawberries. Luminous watercolors capture the simplicity of the story.
Fishing with Grandma. Susan Avingaq, Illustrated
by Charlene Chua, $10.95
Adventure awaits when Grandma takes her two grandchildren
out for a trip to the lake!
The Gift of the Inuksuk. Mike Ulmer, illustrated by Melanie Rose, $18.95
Unique and as
beautiful as a snowflake or footprint, an Inuksuk is one of the stone figures
that can be seen dotting the Canadian Arctic region. Many made by ancient
hands, the Inuksui purposes are varied, from earthly uses such as navigation
and message centers to those of the spirit, as sites of reverence. Author Mike
Ulmer explores the connectedness of all Arctic life in his tale, THE GIFT OF THE INUKSUK.
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Good Morning World: Animals of the Native Northwest. Artwork
by Paul Windsor, Haisla, Heiltsuk, $10.00
"Good morning bears fishing in the river"... "Good
morning turtles walking to the sea"... "Good morning Sun shining on
the birds and the butterflies..."
This book shares the GOOD energy coming from the morning
sun — all of creation is interconnected. Every child can learn great things
from this vibrantly beautiful book, from Pacific Northwest artist Paul Windsor.
Goodnight World: Animals of the Native Northwest. Various
First Nations Artists, $10.00
This beautiful boardbook weaves a gentle story of saying
goodnight to the animals of the forest. The colourful illustrations are done by
many different artists from the Pacific Northwest First Nations communities.
Grandmother Ptarmigan. Qaunaq Mikkagak &
Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Qin Leng, $13.95 (ages 4-7)
It’s bedtime for baby ptarmigan, but he will not go to
sleep. So his grandmother decides to tell him a bedtime story that he will
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Grandpa's Girls. Nicola Campbell & Kim LaFave,
$16.95 (ages 4-7)
A young girl delights in a visit to her grandpa’s farm.
She and her cousins run through the fields, explore the root cellar where the
salmon and jars of fruit are stored, swing on a rope out the barn loft window,
visit the Appaloosa in the corral and tease the neighbor’s pig. The visit is
also an opportunity for this child to ask Grandpa what her grandmother, Yayah,
was like, and explore the “secret room,” with its old wooden trunk of ribbons,
medals and photos of Grandpa in uniform. There is a wonderful blend of fun and
family history in this visit to a grandparent, but also the realization that
there can be some things about the people we know and love that will always
remain a mystery.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker. Robbie Robertson,
illustrated by David Shannon, $23.95
Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was
chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois
nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the
tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves — a
blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S.
Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie
Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the
Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift
of storytelling with a new generation. Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator
David Shannon brings the journey of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker to life
with arresting oil paintings. Together, Robertson and Shannon have crafted a
new children’s classic that will both educate and inspire readers of all ages. Includes
a CD featuring a new, original song written and performed by Robbie Robertson.
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The Hill. Karen Bass, $14.95
Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and
Kyle is first on the scene. When Jared insists on hiking up the highest hill in
search of cell phone reception, Kyle hesitates; his Cree grandmother has always
forbidden him to go near it. There’s no stopping Jared, though, so Kyle
reluctantly follows. After a night spent on the hilltop — with no cell
service — the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. Nothing in
the forest surrounding them seems right. In fact, things seem very wrong. And
worst of all, something is hunting them.
How Frogmouth Found Her Home. Ambelin Kwaymullina,
Frogmouth isn’t like the other birds. She doesn’t want to
live in the trees. Frogmouth is in search of something more. Frogmouth travels
the land hunting for a new nesting place, but nothing feels right. On her way,
she helps other animals find their true homes, but still she searches. Only
when she meets Moon and hears his intriguing offer can she finally find her
Author Ambelin Kwaymullina is from the Palyku people of
the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
How Nivi Got Her Names. Laura Deal, illustrated by
Charlene Chua, $10.95
Nivi has always known that her names were special, but
she does not know where they came from. One sunny afternoon, Nivi decides to
ask her mom. The stories of the people Nivi is named after lead her to an
understanding of traditional Inuit naming practices and knowledge of what those
practices mean to Inuit people.
How Nivi Got Her Names is an
easy-to-understand introduction to traditional Inuit naming, with a story that
touches on Inuit custom adoption.
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I Am Not a Number. Jenny Kay Dupuis, Kathy Kacer,
illustrated by Gillian Newland, $18.95
When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First
Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and
terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from,
despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell
her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the number they have
assigned to her. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene's parents decide
never to send her and her brothers away again. But where will they hide? And
what will happen when her parents disobey the law?
Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’
grandmother, I Am Not a Number is a hugely necessary book that brings a
terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that children can learn
from and relate to.
I Like Who I Am. Tara WHite, illustrated by Lee
Claremont, $12.95 (ages 6-10)
Celina is a young Mohawk girl who moves to her mother's
home reserve. She is teased by her classmates who tell her that she is not
Mohawk and does not belong because she has blond hair and blue eyes. Celina
starts to believe her classmates and decides not to dance at an upcoming Pow
Wow. But her great-grandmother helps Celina understand that being Mohawk is not
about how she looks but about what she feels in her heart. When the drumming
starts at the Pow Wow, Celina decides to dance after all. A beautifully
illustrated story, I Like Who I Am explores issues of bullying and
belonging as Celina looks for acceptance in her new community.
Jenneli’s Dance. Elizabeth Denny, Illustrated by
Chris Auchter, $12.95 (ages 6-8)
Jenneli is a shy young girl who feels that she is nothing
special, until she learns about the Métis Red-River Jig from her Grandma Lucee.
One day, Grandma Lucee enters Jenneli into a jigging contest at the Lakeside
Fair. Jenneli is scared and excited, but with Grandma Lucee's encouragement,
love and support, Jenneli places her self-doubts and fears aside to dance in
Jenneli's Dance is a story that instills a sense of
pride in the Métis culture, and deals with issues of overcoming low
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Jon's Tricky Journey: a Story for Inuit Children with
Cancer and Their Families. Patricia McCarthy, $19.95 (ages 5-7) Bilingual
Inuktitut and English
Jon loves his life in the North. But when he feels a pain
that won’t go away, he must go to a children’s hospital in the south to find
out what is wrong. A doctor there tells Jon he has cancer and will have to stay
at the hospital for a while. Suddenly Jon’s life is upside down! But with a
handful of tricks from the doctors and nurses, and new friends, Jon discovers
ways to cope with some of the tricky parts of having cancer.
Accompanied by a resource guide for parents and
caregivers, including hospital and support information, Jon’s Tricky Journey opens a conversation between Inuit children facing a cancer diagnosis and their
families to help make a difficult and confusing time more manageable.
Just a Walk. Jordan Wheeler, Illustrated by Chris
Auchter, $10.95 (ages 4-7)
In Just a Walk, a young boy named Chuck goes
for a simple walk that turns into a day of crazy adventure. Chuck encounters
animals, fish and birds that lead him on a wild journey through their various
Jordan Wheeler's whimsical rhyming will capture the young
readers attention and Chuck’s hilarious predicaments will keep all ages
laughing for more.
Kamik: an Inuit Puppy Story. Donald
Uluadluak, illustrated by Qin Leng, $10.95 (ages 4-8)
Inspired by the real-life recollections of an elder from
Arviat, Nunavut, this book lovingly recreates the traditional dog-rearing
practices that prevailed when Inuit relied on dogs for transportation and
Kamik Joins the Pack. Darryl Baker,
illustrated by Qin Leng, $10.95 (ages 4-8)
Jake can’t wait for his uncle to meet Kamik, and to see
what an obedient puppy he is becoming! Jake’s uncle is a great musher who has
won many dog-sledding races, and if Kamik is good enough, Jake hopes today
might be the day that Kamik finally gets to run with a dog team!
Kamik Joins the Pack continues the story of Jake
and his puppy Kamik as they learn from their elders everything they need to
know to someday be part of a winning sled dog team. Adapted from the memories
of Darryl Baker.
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Kamik’s First Sled. Matilday Sulurayok, $10.95
Jake's puppy Kamik is growing quickly,
but the dog isn't becoming any easier to handle. All Jake wants is to raise his
puppy into a strong, fast sled dog, but Kamik is far from ready to pull a sled
with a dog team. With some advice and a little help from his grandmother, Jake
learns basic principles of how to begin training a dog to pull. Kamik finally
has his first sled, and he and Jake can finally begin exploring the tundra
together. But Jake and Kamik are still inexperienced, and when a blizzard
starts blowing in across the tundra, Jake has to rely on his knowledge to get
home. Inspired by the life memories of the author, an Inuit elder, this book
lovingly presents basic dog-rearing practices that even the youngest dog lover
Kookum's Red Shoes. Peter Eyvindson, illustrated
by Sheldon Dawson, $18.95
The legacy of the residential schools is conveyed with
respect and imagination in this illustrated story for young readers. As the
elderly Kookum remembers the experiences in her youth that changed her life
forever, we see what was lost in her life, and how goodness persisted.
Kumak's House: a Tale of the Far North. Michael
Bania, $14.50 (ages 4-8))
At the edge of a great frozen river, Kumak and his family
lived in their house by the willows. Though their house was warm and cozy,
Kumak was not happy. His wife was not happy. His sons and daughters were not
happy. His wife's mother was not happy. "Too small, this house," said
Kumak. "I will go to see Aana Lulu. She will know what to do." Set in
an Inupiat village in the northwest Arctic, Kumak treks again and again to
elder Aana Lulu for advice. The book's charming illustrations incite laughter
and introduce children to traditional Inupiat activities and animals of the
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Kumak's River: a Tall Tale of the Far North. Michael
Bania, $14.50 (ages 4-8)
Every spring, the frozen river near Kumak's house cracks
and breaks into a million pieces. This year, something different happens — the
ice jams in a bend of the river and the water rises over its banks and into the
village. What will Kumak and his family do when the river comes to visit?
Little Snowshoe. Ellen Bryan Obed, illustrated by
William Ritchie, $12.95
Set in the Arctic, this charming, beautifully illustrated
story unfolds with Little Snowshoe looking for his mother. Against the
whiteness of the snow he is continually fooled by other objects that he
mistakes for her. Finally, exhausted from his search, he falls asleep to be
awakened by his mother who has found him. Little Snowshoe is an
easy-to-read book, which bases its story line on the camouflage ability of the
snowshoe rabbit. Written by Ellen Bryan Obed, illustrated by William Ritchie.
The Littlest Sled Dog. Michael Kusugak,
illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka, $19.95 (ages4-7)
Igvillu is a little dog who is not afraid to dream big!
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Maple Moon. Connie Brummel Crook & Scott
Cameron, $9.95 (ages 4-7)
In finding a new source of nourishment, a native boy
named Rides the Wind, is able to help his people through a harsh winter. His
pride also boosts his confidence in spite of a physical disability, and he is
able to rise above the cruel taunts of other children.
The Mask That Sang. Susan Currie, $9.95
A young girl discovers her Cayuga heritage when she finds
a mask that sings to her.
Cass and her mom have always stood on their own against
the world. Then Cass learns she had a grandmother, one who was never part of
her life, one who has just died and left her and her mother the first house
they could call their own. But with it comes more questions than answers: Why
is her Mom so determined not to live there? Why was this relative kept so
secret? And what is the unusual mask, forgotten in a drawer, trying to tell
her? Strange dreams, strange voices, and strange incidents all lead Cass closer
to solving the mystery and making connections she never dreamed she had.
Mikissuk’s Secret. Isabelle Lafontana, illustrated
by Barroux, $6.99 (ages 3-5)
Mikissuk dreams of going hunting with her brother on his
big dogsled, Can she convince him that she is big and strong enough to ride
along? Includes six pages of information about the animals, people and
geography of Nunavut.
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Missing Nimâmâ. Melanie Florence, illustrated by
François Thisdale, $19.95 (ages 8 and up)
A young mother, one of the many missing indigenous women,
watches over her small daughter as she grows up without her nimâmâ.
Together, but separated, they experience important milestones: the first day of
school, first dance, first date, a wedding, and new life. A free-verse story of
love, loss, and acceptance told in alternating voices, Missing Nimâmâ shows the human side of a national tragedy.
An afterword by the author provides a simple, age-appropriate context for young
readers. Includes a glossary of Cree terms. Typeset in a dyslexia-friendly
The Moccasins. Earl Einarson, illustrated by
Julie Flett, $10.95 (ages 4-9)
This is the endearing story of a young Aboriginal foster
child who is given a special gift by his foster mother. Her warm and thoughtful
gift encourages her young foster child and brings him acceptance and love.
Muskrat Will Be Swimming. Cheryl Savageau,
illustrated by Robert Hynes, $11.95 (ages 6-10)
Muskrat Will Be Swimming, by Cheryl Savageau, is a
quiet tale of a Native American girl who, with gentle guidance from her
grandfather, learns to find strength, not fear, in her identity as a Native
person living in an Anglo society. Beautifully illustrated and complete with a
Seneca creation story, Muskrat Will Be Swimming demonstrates how the ancient
stories of Native American cultures are used to help today’s children find
their way in the world. It is a treasure for all who have ever dealt with the
fear of being different.
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My Heart Fills with Happiness. Monique Gray Smith,
illustrated by Julie Flett, $9.95 (boardbook)
The sun on your face. The smell of warm bannock baking in
the oven. Holding the hand of someone you love. What fills your heart with
happiness? My Heart Fills with Happiness to supports the wellness
of Indigenous children and families, and encourages all young children to
reflect on what makes them happy.
A Northern Alphabet. Ted Harrison, $12.99
Available now in board book format for the first time, A
Northern Alphabet is an early introduction to the letters by way of all
things northern: the landscape, the people, and the flora and fauna. From A for
anorak and B for bear to Q for quilt and Z for zinc mine, in these pages,
children everywhere can experience the color and beauty of northern life. Each
letter is accompanied by simple text naming a few of the objects, animals and
people depicted in each spectacular painting.
Not My Girl. Christy Jordan-Fenton &
Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, $9.95 (ages 6-9)
Margaret leaps off the boat and races toward her family.
It's been two years since she left her Arctic home for the outsider's school,
and she can barely contain her excitement. But the years at school have changed
her, and Margaret's mother takes one look at her and says "Not my
girl". Now Margaret must relearn her people's ways, and find her place in
the world once again.
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The Old Ways. Susan Margaret Chapman,
illustrated by John Mantha, $19.95 (ages 5-9)
Simon enjoys school, TV, pizza, and video games. So when
his grandmother tells legends of the sea goddess, Sedna, and his grandfather
invites him to build an igloo, Simon's heart sinks. Secretly he thinks his
grandparents are stuck in their old ways. Secretly his grandparents hide their
disappointment and wait for "another time."
Soon enough, that other times comes. When he and his grandparents
prepare to visit relatives in Igloolik, Simon thinks it is ridiculous to heap
oil lamps, extra fuel, tools, food, snowshoes, and caribou skins onto their
sled. But when a blizzard closes in, and the snowmobile breaks down, Simon
begins to understand the value of traditional ways.
On the Shoulders of a Giant: an Inuit Folktale.
Neil Christopher & Jim Nelson, $16.95 (ages 5-9)
Inukpak was big, even for a giant. He loved to travel
across the tundra, striding over the widest rivers and wading through the
deepest lakes with ease. He could walk across the Arctic in just a few days.
But being so big, and travelling so far, Inukpak was often alone. Until one
day, when he came across a little hunter on the tundra. Thinking that the
hunter was a little boy, alone on the land, Inukpak decided to adopt him as his
son. And so, from the shoulder of one of the biggest giants to ever roam the
Arctic, this hunter embarked on a series of adventures only a giant could
On Thin Ice. Jamie Bastedo, $14.95 (novel, ages
In a tiny Arctic hamlet, a teenager's mangled body is
found lying on the ice. COuld a rapidly changing Arctic climate have driven a
polar bear, starving and afraid, this close to human habitation? On Thin Ice is the story of Ashley Anowiak, a gifted northern youth struggling to
understand her spiritual connection to polar bears. While seeking answers about
her culture, climate and environment seem to be crumbling all around her.
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Only In My Hometown/Kisimi Taimaippaktut
Angirrarijarani/ᑭᓯᒥ ᑕᐃᒪᐃᑉᐸᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖏᕐᕋᕆᔭᕋᓂ.
Angnakuluk Friesen & Ippiksaut Friesen, $18.95
The northern lights shine, women gather to eat raw
caribou meat and everyone could be family in this ode to small-town life in
Nunavut, written in English and Inuktitut.
Sisters Angnakuluk Friesen and Ippiksaut Friesen
collaborate on this story about what it’s like to grow up in an Inuit community
in Nunavut. Every line about the hometown in this book will have readers
thinking about what makes their own hometowns unique. With strong social
studies curriculum connections, Kisimi Taimaippaktut Angirrarijarani / ᑭᓯᒥ ᑕᐃᒪᐃᑉᐸᒃᑐᑦ ᐊᖏᕐᕋᕆᔭᕋᓂ / Only in My Hometown introduces young readers to life in the Canadian
North, as well as the Inuit language and culture.
Angnakuluk’s simple text, translated into Inuktitut and
written out in syllabics and transliterated roman characters, is complemented
by Ippiksaut’s warm paintings of their shared hometown.
Painted Skies. Carolyn Mallory, illustrated
by Amei Zhao, $16.95
Leslie is new to the Arctic, and no one told her there
would be so much snow, and so many interesting things to see. Along with her
new friend Oolipika, Leslie soon discovers one of the Arctic’s most unique and
breathtaking natural wonders, the northern lights.
This contemporary narrative introduces young readers to
an Inuit legend about the northern lights, followed by an epilogue that
explains the science behind this amazing phenomenon.
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Secret of the Dance. Alfred Scow & Andrea
Spalding, illustrated by Darlene Gait, $19.95 (ages 9-12)
In 1935, an eight-year-old boy slipped from his bed late
at night and watched as his family defied the government. Masked figures danced
by firelight to the beat of the drum as young Watl’kina saw his elders dancing
in a ceremony older than time.
Kwakwa’ka’wakw Elder Alfred Scow and award-winning author
Andrea Spalding tell the story of a traditional — and once forbidden — ceremony
that lies at the very heart of Aboriginal culture.
The Seven Teachings Stories. Katherena Vermette
& Irene Kuziw, $9.95 each (ages 5-9)
The Seven Teachings of the Anishinaabe — love, wisdom,
humility, courage, respect, honesty, and truth — are revealed in these seven
stories for children. Set in an urban landscape with Indigenous children as the
central characters, these stories about home and family wil look familiar to
Amik Loves School: a Story of Wisdom. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
The First Day: a Story of Courage. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
The Just Right Gift: a Story of Love. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
Kode's Quest(ion): a Story of Respect. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
Misaabe's Stories: a Story of Honesty. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
Singing Sisters: a Story of Humility. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
What is Truth Betsy? A Story of Truth. Katherena
Vermette & Irene Kuziw, $9.95
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The Sharing Circle: Stories about
First Nations Culture. Theresa Meuse-Dallien,
Matthew loves to play games with his
friends and share his toys with them. But most of all he loves to share the
special treasures that remind him of his First Nations culture. Perhaps his
favourite treasure is the medicine pouch that his grandfather made especially
for him. This is where he keeps many of his other treasures, including the
sacred herbs his mother gave him. Matthew uses the herbs to remind him to be
grateful for everything that nature gives us. Another special gift is the eagle
feather from his father. Matthew knows that the eagle is a symbol of the
spiritual strength of his culture. But there is one other gift that has a
special place in Matthew's heart.
The Sharing Circle is a collection of seven stories about First Nations culture and
spiritual practices: The Eagle Feather, The Dream Catcher, The Sacred Herbs,
The Talking Circle, The Medicine Wheel, The Drum, and The Medicine Pouch.
Researched and written by Mi'kmaw children's author Theresa Meuse-Dallien, and
beautifully illustrated by Mi'kmaw illustrator Arthur Stevens, this book will
engage and inform children of all ages.
Shi-shi-etko. Nicola Campbell, illustrated by Kim
In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave
her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last
days at home treasuring the beauty of her world — the dancing sunlight, the
tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's
paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable
teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers
her memories for safekeeping.
Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving
and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she
is on the verge of great loss — a loss that native people have endured for
generations because of the residential schools system.
Solomon’s Tree. Andrea Spalding, $10.95
Solomon has a special friendship with
the big old maple outside his house. He knows the tree in all seasons and all
weathers. When a terrible storm tears it up by its roots, Solomon is
devastated. But through the healing process of making a mask from part of the
tree with his uncle, he learns that the cycle of life continues and so does the
friendship between himself and the tree.
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Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox. Danielle Daniel,
In this introduction to the Anishinaabe tradition of
totem animals, young children explain why they identify with different
creatures such as a deer, beaver or moose. Delightful illustrations show the
children wearing masks representing their chosen animal, while the few lines of
text on each page work as a series of simple poems throughout the book.
In a brief note, Métis artist and author Danielle Daniel
explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they
can also act as animal guides for young children seeking to understand themselves
Speaking Our Truth: a Journey of Reconciliation.
Monique Gray Smith, $29.95 (ages 9-13)
Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has
suffered as a result of both the Residential School system and the lack of
understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing
and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased
understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and
their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith,
readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are
putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.
The Spirit of the Sea. Rebecca Hainnu, ilustrated
by Hwei Lim, $16.95 (ages 4-8)
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story
of the spirit of the sea, often known as Nuliajuq, Sedna, Takannaaluk, and many
other Inuktitut names.
Once a young woman who refused to marry, the lies and
deception of a traitorous bird — and her own father’s cowardice — lead Nuliajuq to
a life of solitude at the bottom of the ocean as the powerful, and at times
vengeful, spirit of the sea.
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The Spirit Trackers. Jan Bourdeau Waboose,
illustrated by François Thisdale, $18.95
When Uncle shares the story of the Windigo, the cousins
get more than they expect. That night something strange scratches at the frost
on their bedroom window. In the morning they find huge tracks in the snow. The
Wandering Night Spirit of Winter!
Tom and Will know what good Trackers would do, so they
follow the trail deep into the forest. Then a strange cry slices the air.
"Remember," Will whispers as they move forward. "Don't look into
Can you be a tracker too? Find the tracks hidden in the
Stolen Words. Melanie Florence, illustrated by
Gabrielle Grimard, $17.95
The story of the beautiful relationship between a little
girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in
his language — Cree — he admits that his language was stolen from him when he
was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language
again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the
intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young
Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those
whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down,
and how healing can also be shared.
Tales from the Tundra: a Collection of Inuit Stories. Ibi Kaslik, illustrated by Anthony Brennan, $12.95
Learn why the raven is black or how a little boy was transformed into a bird. Find out why a walrus used to have antlers and how an earth spirit pulled the first caribou from the ground. These fascinating stories will capture the imagination of young readers and introduce them to the rich mythology of the Canadian Inuit.
Anthony Brennan’s illustrations are like nothing you’ve seen in children’s books. Edgy, vivid and dynamic to the extreme, the images enrich the reading experience.
The Thundermaker. Alan Syliboy, $19.95
Mi’kmaw artist Alan Syliboy’s The Thundermaker is
based on Alan’s spectacular mixed-media exhibit of the same name. In the book,
Big Thunder teaches his son, Little Thunder, about the important responsibility
he has making thunder for his people. Little Thunder learns about his Mi’kmaw
identity through his father’s teachings and his mother’s traditional stories.
Syliboy’s spectacular, vibrant artwork brings the story of Little Thunder to
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Tiktala. Margaret Shaw-MacKinnon, illustrated by
László Gál, $9.95 (ages 5-9)
Tiktala looked down at what should have been her mittens
and saw silver-grey fur, black claws-flippers. She tried to get away, but the
flippers — her flippers — scratched and scrambled on the rock. Tiktala was a harp
seal. "Spirit!" her cry rang out. "Change me back!" But no
spirit answered. Tiktala looked out at the black churning waters. She dreaded
the sea, but she was more afraid of being left alone. She closed her eyes and
heaved forward. "I am Tiktala," she cried, as she entered the ocean.
A Walk on the Shoreline. Rebecca Hainnu,
Illustrated by Qin Leng, $16.95
Young Nukappia can’t wait to get out to his family
campsite on the shoreline. After spending all year in the south with his
adoptive parents, Nukappia always looks forward to his summer visits with his
birth family. After spending one night in town, Nukappia and his uncle Angu
begin the long walk down the shore to the family summer campsite, where all of
Nukappia’s cousins and aunts and uncles are waiting for him. Along the way,
Nukappia learns that the shoreline is not just ice and rocks and water. There
is an entire ecosystem of plants and animals that call the shoreline home. From
seaweed to clams to char to shore grasses, there is far more to see along the
shoreline than Nukappia ever imagined.
A Walk on the Tundra. Rebecca Hainnu & Anna Ziegler, illustrated by Qin Leng, $13.95
Inuujaq, a little girl who travels with
her grandmother onto the tundra, soon learns that the tundra's colourful
flowers, mosses, shrubs, and lichens are much more important to the Inuit that
she originally believed. This informative story, which teaches the many uses
for Arctic plants, also includes a field guide with photographs and scientific
information about a wide array of plants found throughout the Arctic ecosystem.
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The Water Walker. Joanne Robertson, $16.95
Nokimis — our grandmothers — walk to protect our water,
and to protect all of us.
Nokomis walks to raise awareness of our need to protect
Nibi for future generations, and for all life on the planet. She, along with
other women, men, and youth, have walked around all the Great Lakes from the
four salt waters, or oceans, to Lake Superior. The walks are full of
challenges, challenge us all to take up our responsibility to protect our
water, the giver of life, and to protect our planet for all generations.
When I Was Eight. Christy Jordan-Fenton,
Margaret Pokiak-Fenton & Gabrielle Grimard, $9.95
Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things, but she does
not know how to read. To learn, she must travel to school far from her Arctic
home, ignoring her father’s warnings. The nuns at the school take away her
Inuit name and call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair, and force her to
do chores. But Margaret is more determined than ever to read. Based on the true
story of author Margaret Pokiak-Fenton.
The Vision Seeker. James Whetung, illustrated by
Paul Morin, $9.95
The Sweat Lodge teachings of the Anishinaabe are an
important influence on the daily lives of the people. Full of symbolism,
interconnected one with another, they are not as uncomplicated as they might
seem. The Little Boy's Vision Quest is one of those teachings and it
reveals how the Sweat Lodge was brought to the people. Anishinaabe author James
Whetung has crafted a crisp, clear telling while retaining the cadence of its
oral beginnings. Paintings by Paul Morin evoke the crackle of fire, the scent
of cedar, the mysterious dark side of the moon.
Wenjack. Joseph Boyden, $12.00
An Ojibwe boy runs away from a North Ontario Indian
School. Too late, he realizes just how far away home is. Along the way he's
followed by Manitous, spirits of the forest who comment on his plight,
cajoling, taunting, and ultimately offering him a type of comfort on his
difficult journey back to the place he was so brutally removed from.
The acclaimed author of The Orenda gives us a powerful
and poignant look into the last moments of Charlie Wenjack, a residential
school runaway trying to find his way home.
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What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know about Horses? Richard Van Camp & George Littlechild, $13.95
Author Richard Van Camp has always been curious about
horses. He is a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation, a Native North American
tribe that uses dogs instead of horses, because it's too cold for them up in
Canada! One wintry day, he decides to do some investigating. Our friendly guide
invites us to accompany him on his playful search for the most beautiful thing
about horses. He asks his family, his friends, and even the artist, George
Littlechild, what is the most beautiful thing they know about horses. The
answers he gets range from zany to profound, and show him that even seemingly
ordinary things can be seen in entirely new ways.
When We Were Alone. David Robertson & Julie
When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden,
she begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why
does her grandmother have long braided hair and wear beautifully coloured
clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her
family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life
in a residential school a long time ago, where everything was taken away. When
We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history and, ultimately,
a story of empowerment and strength.
You Hold Me Up. Monique Gray Smith & Danielle
This vibrant picture book encourages children to show
love and support for each other and to consider each other’s well-being in
their everyday actions.
Consultant, international speaker and award-winning
author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young
people, their care providers and educators about reconciliation and the
importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and
families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering
empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest
You're Just Right. Victor Lethbridge, illustrated
by Ben Crane, $15.00
Written with tenderness and great compassion, You're Just
Right affirms the beauty and dignity that comes with unconditional love.
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