When the Horses Ride By: Children in Times of War is a powerful picture book that can be used effectively in the classroom to introduce discussions about war and peace. Through the eyes and words of children, the author and illustrator approached the themes of dreams and aspirations, and overcoming war by having the words spoken by children in 17 free verse poems. Each two-page spread tackles a period of military history such as the American Revolution or the second war in Iraq through the eyes of children affected by the war.
Nuits de Pow-wow, Iskewsis, Chere Maman is a moving picture book co-written by David Bouchard and Pam Aleekuk. The bilingual 32-page book has text in French and Mi'kmaq and an audio CD accompanies the book. Bouchard's rhythmic poems are inspired by the child's fond memories of powwows attended with his mother. Raised in a single parent family, the narrator shows his love for the powwow event, the dancers, the long car rides to the powwow, and the intricate regalia. Toward the end of the narrative the reader learns about the mother's changing health and her death.
Long Powwow Nights, Iskewsis, Dear Mother is a moving picture book co-written by David Bouchard and Pam Aleekuk. The bilingual 32-page book has text in English and Mi'kmaq and an audio CD accompanies the book. Bouchard's rhythmic poems are inspired by the child's fond memories of powwows attended with his mother. Raised in a single parent family, the narrator shows his love for the powwow event, the dancers, the long car rides to the powwow, and the intricate regalia. Toward the end of the narrative the reader learns about the mother's changing health and her death.
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.
The Glass Lodge is a slim volume of poems by Mistawasis Cree writer John McDonald. Writing about his experiences as a street kid in Prince Albert and Calgary, McDonald offers readers a frank and honest look at life through the lens of an Aboriginal man who has experienced pain, addiction, love, identity issues, racism, and hope. His journey is heartfelt and compelling. The work contains mature themes and language. This book is selected as a recommended title in the 2009 First Nations Libraries Community Reads program.
For the Children is the newly published posthumous book of poetry by renowned Mi'kmaw poet Rita Joe (1932-2007). The publisher, Breton Books, collected previously published poems and more recent poems that were written when illness entered Rita Joe's life. Black ink woodcuts of animals drawn by Burland Murphy are included throughout the volume. Rita Joe was born in Wycocomagh, Cape Breton Island and attended Shubenacadie Indian Residential School. Her first book of poetry was published in 1978.
Lines from a Mined Mind brings together lyrics and musings from the twenty-five-year recording career of John Trudell, an internationally acclaimed poet, musician, and leader of the American Indian Movement. More than a simple anthology, this collection goes deeper, revealing the incendiary intersection of music and activism.
The Drum Calls Softly is Métis writer David Bouchard's picture book co-written with educator Shelley Willier and illustrated by Jim Poitras. The story is told in rhyming verse as the narrator celebrates with others the joy of the round dance and the music of the drum. This bilingual Cree and English book offers readers insight into the cultural understanding of First Nations by drawing them into the circle. They explore the seasons, the life cycle, cultural values, and making new friends. The 32-page book is illustrated with colour paintings of the dance by Jim Poitras.
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.
In free verse, author Karen Hesse tells of Vera and other Aleuts who are moved to Ketchikan in 1942 when the Japanese invade the Aleutian Islands. Many Aleuts die of illness, but Vera knows she will see her beloved island again. The people known as Aleuts were removed from their island homes following the June 1942 attack by the Japanese during World War Two. The story tells the tragic experiences of Vera and her family and friends as they struggle to retain their culture and family ties during this disruptive period of relocation.