Grandpa's Girls by Interior Salish children's author Nicola Campbell offers a delightful picture book about a young girl and her cousins who enjoy their visits to their grandfather's working farm. The book captures the unbridled joy and excitement of visiting one's relatives, exploring a hay loft, feeding crabapples to the horse, examining jars of preserves in the root cellar, and endlessly running and playing. Based on her childhood experiences, the storyteller reminds us that the best time of all is just being with one's grandparent.
My Little Round House is a charming picture book about baby Jilu who recounts his first year of life in a Mongolian community. He remembers being cradled by his singing mother, the delicious smells from the cooking pot, his first meeting with his grandparents, and the family's exciting life with a camel caravan. They celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the new year, and later revel in the warmth and freedom of summer.
Alego is a beautifully illustrated children's picture book written and illustrated by Inuk artist Ningeokuluk Teevee. The bilingual book is written in Inuktitut syllabics and English and is translated by Nine Manning-Toonoo. The gentle story recounts the experiences of a young child as she and her grandmother go for a walk along the shore to gather clams for the family's supper. During the experience Alego finds many new and interesting animals and creatures that live the tide pools along the shore and grandmother teaches her the names of the creatures.
Tuk and the Whale is a chapter book that tells the story of a first contact situation between an Inuit hunting camp on Baffin Island and European whalers during the early 1600s. Storyteller Raquel Rivera has written the account of the lost and helpless whalers meeting Inuit hunters through the perspective of a young Inuk boy, Tuk. Tuk's family is in their winter camp as he sees an odd boat of Qallunnaat or foreigners. The men from the boat are hungry and want to enlist the aid of the Inuit in finding and killing the Arvik, a large black whale.
Good for Nothing is the English translation of the French young adult novel compilation, Journal d'un bon a rien, Le coeur sur la braise, and Hiver indien, by Quebec writer Michel Noel. First published in the French language edition in 1999 as three novels this English compilation was released in 2001. The English translation by Shelley Tanaka. The story revolves around the main character, an Algonquin/Metis fifteen-year-old youth from a reserve in Quebec. Raised by a foster mother in the local town, Nipishish has just been kicked out of residential school and returns home to the reserve.
A Coyote Solstice Tale is the newest Thomas King picture book just in time for Christmas. This humourous look at Christmas mall shopping is combined with a new twist to little red riding hood tale mixed in with Trickster Coyote and his animal friends. This 64-page book is illustrated with the colour cartoon drawings of Gary Clement. Coyote and his friends are joining together to celebrate a festive solstice. Along comes a little girl dressed as a reindeer. She knocks on Coyote's door and is welcomed to the party.
Shin-chi's Canoe is Nicola Campbell's sequel to Shi-shi-etko, the story about a young girl's first year at residential school. In this second picture book, Shi-shi-etko returns for another school year and brings along her six-year-old brother. Shin-chi loves to fish and accompany his father in the canoe. But a new experience awaits and his sister helps him prepare for what will happen at school. Their mother explains to the children that she does not want to send them but there are laws compelling parents to send their children to boarding schools.
The Saver is a young adult novel written in the form of letters from a teen sent to an imaginary friend, Xanoth, who lives and thrives in a far-away planet. Life is rough and hard for Fern and her mother who live in an tiny apartment in Montreal. Mother is a First Nation woman whose only relative lives in Winnipeg. Fern and her mother are trying to make a life in Montreal where high school and cleaning jobs are routine. One day Fern returns home to find tragedy waits after her mother has fallen down stairs and was taken to hospital.
The Secret Legacy is an illustrated chapter book that tells several traditional Mayan accounts of the world, humans, and the spiritual world by renowned activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. Despite living through years of warfare in Guatemala, Menchu recounts joyous traditional legends and stories about life in Guatemala and the world of the Mayan people. The heroine, Ixkem, is a seven-year-old girl who is taught about the Mayan world by her elderly grandfather.
Talking with Mother Earth (Hablando con Madre Tierra) is a bilingual (Spanish and English) picture book that celebrates the Indigenous People of Central America and their appreciation for the land and all creation. The poems in the book are told by the Pipil Nahua Indian author, Jorge Argueta, as a young boy growing up in El Salvador. As a boy he has two names, Tetl (Nahual) and Jorge (Spanish). The spiritual connection to Mother Earth transcends all Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and that thankfulness is clearly expressed in the poems.