Soapstone Porcupine written by Jeff Pinkney is an 88-page early chapter book from Orca Book Publishers. Two brothers from a James Bay Cree community one day encounter a stray dog. They give this dog the name Atim (dog) and their new pet remains with the family. But an unfortunate encounter with a porcupine leaves the dog in distress. One brother wants to hunt the porcupine and kill it but the younger brother does not want to take this action.
The Eagle's Path is an illustrated children's fiction book by Michelle Corneau for Strong Nations Publishing. Colour pencil sketches by Audrey Keating illustrate the story of 10-year old Anna whose school friend Jill announces she prefers girls when the two talk about boys at their school. Anna is troubled and her parents notice Anna is unusually quiet at home. Her mother gently asks what is troubling Anna.
Niwîcihâw, I Help is a bilingual picture book that celebrates the role of a Cree grandmother (Kohkum) as she takes her grandson on a short trip to the bush to pick rosehips. Previously published in 2008 as Niwechihaw, I Help by Caitlin Dale Nicholson who wrote and illustrated this gentle story with spare repetitive language about the child watching and following the lead of his teacher, Kohkum. As he follows his grandmother, the boy watches and learns the cultural practices necessary to properly gather the ingredients to make rosehip tea.
Blackflies is a picture book written by children's author Robert Munsch and illustrated in cartoon-style by Jay Odjig. This 32-page book will appeal to young children through the cartoon like colour images and the fun text about a girl who just wants to go outdoors following a snow filled winter season.
The Spirit Trackers by Ojibwe storyteller and author Jan Bourdeau Waboose and illustrated by Francois Thisdale is published by Fifth House Publishing. Two young cousins visit with their uncle one wintery night. They ask for a story about Windigo and find some strange scratches and large footprints the next morning. The boys decide to be trackers just like their uncle and so set out to track the creature who made the footprints. The colour illustrations make this story a fascinating account of the creature known as Windigo as young children enjoy this Ojibwe legend. Highly recommended.
You Hold Me Up by award-winning author Monique Gray Smith is a 32-page picture book about friendship and kindness ideal for preschool and primary level students as educators introduce topics such as reconciliation. In everyday interactions young children can show kindness and caring in their relationships.
Les Mots Volés by author Melanie Florence and published by Editions Scholastic is a primary level picture book that explains language loss among First Nations residential school survivors and their descendants. This French language translation of Stolen Words is told through the eyes of a child and her grandfather. The book captures the close and caring relationship between generations as the girl learns about residential schools and language loss.
The Cloud Artist by Choctaw author Sherri Maret and Choctaw artist Marisha Sequoia Clark is published by RoadRunner Press. An imaginary story about a Choctaw girl who discovers her gift for painting with the clouds on a sunny day. Her family and friends are entertained and one day a traveling carnival sees her magical creations. The carnival man wants Leona to travel with the show and make cloud paintings as their cloud artist. To Leona this is a big decision that the girl has to make for herself. In the end Leona chooses to remain with her family.
Once in a Blue Moon is a fictional account told in simple rhyming verse about the rare appearance of a blue moon. A blue moon is a second full moon in a calendar month. The author who identifies as Metis is also the illustrator for this book suggested for primary level students. Published by Groundwood Books in 2017. Selected for the 2018 FNCR longlist for First Nation Communities Read.
The Journey Forward: Novellas on Reconciliation, Lucy & Lola and When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! is a unique flip book published by McKellar and Martin publishers. Printed as one book the two novellas address the issues surrounding residential schools, foster care (60s scoop), Truth, Reconciliation and what this means for students from grades five to eight.