Jingle Dancer is a wonderful picture book by noted children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith. The story is told about a Muscogee Creek/Ojibway girl who longs to dance at the upcoming community powwow. Jenna is a thoroughly modern girl who lives in suburbia and learns to dance the jingle dress dance by watching a VCR tape of her grandmother dancing. Time is limited and Jenna and her grandmother have to improvise in order to complete Jenna's first jingle dress. The key elements are the tin cones that make the soft tinkling sound as the dancer bounce-steps in the powwow arena.
Lessons From Mother Earth, a delightful picture book by first-time author Elaine McLeod about the importance of respecting the environment is now back in print. In this story, a young girl goes out to the garden with her grandmother. The child has never visited the garden and the two leave the warmth of a log cabin and begin a long walk outdoors. As they walk, grandmother tells the child about nature and the proper way to pick berries and gather wild plants. They take just enough berries to eat and are careful not to trample the delicate plants.
Mama, Do You Love Me? is a children's board book designed to appeal to all children from all cultures. In this story, an Inuit mother and daughter reaffirm their love for one another. The daughter tests her mother's love with a series of questions that ask the nature and length of a parent's love. The daughter asks if her mother will love her if she puts a salmon in her parka. Mother replies in the affirmative. The conditions become more extreme and humourous but each time the mother reaffirms her love in spite of emotions of fear, anger and surprise.
Storm Boy makes an excellent read aloud picture book about a Haida boy from the Northwest Coast. During a canoe trip, the boy lands in the ocean. There he finds incredibly large people under a strange sky. In fact these are Killer Whale people who live in the ocean. There the boy is greeted and he joins in the people's feast, learning new dances and sharing dances from his village. The Chief realizes the boy is homesick and the boy is safely returned to his village and family. Accelerated Reader Level: 3.8
The Missing Sun is storyteller Peter Eyvindson's tenth children's picture book. In this story, Emily and her mother, who is a meteorologist, move to Inuvik. Emily enjoys her time in the North but finds it difficult to believe that the sun will disappear over the Christmas season. Her mother offers a scientific explanation for the disappearing sun; Emily's friend Josie offers her traditional explanation about Raven stealing the sun. Emily is confused but really enjoys the Christmas season without the sun. When she longs for the sun to return, she is unsure if it will ever return.
Maple Moon is a children's picture book that tells a fictionalized story about the origin of maple sugar. The story is set in the past before the coming of the Europeans. In a Mississauga village near Rice Lake, a young handicapped boy endures a difficult life. During a time of hunger, the villagers cannot find enough food. So the young boy goes away into the woods to be alone. He rests beside a maple tree. After he acknowledges the tree, he sees a red squirrel doing something interesting.
Red Parka Mary is the 12th children's picture book by Saskatchewan writer and storyteller Peter Eyvindson. In this story a seven-year-old Native boy narrates his experiences with an elderly neighbour. Someone had told the boy to be afraid of this Elder. But one day while passing her home, the woman named Mary calls to the boy and gives him a pail filled with chokecherries for his mother. Slowly the boy comes to understand Mary, visits her often, and begins to learn traditional activities during their visits.
The Spring Celebration is a children's picture book about the coming of spring in the northern Manitoba village of Brochet. A young Cree girl named Iskotew is excited as the entire community awaits the first signs of spring. When spring arrives, the whole village turns out for a community picnic. One Sunday, the community decides the time for spring has arrived and everyone prepares for the day by cooking bannock, moose meat, and fish. The children are sent out to pick the cranberries that where frozen under the snow. These cranberries are boiled to make a delicious dessert.
Two Pairs of Shoes is a wonderful children's picture book about a young Ojibway girl who receives two special gifts on her birthday. Maggie receives a pair of black, patent leather shoes from her mother. It is the gift Maggie had hoped for. In her excitement, Maggie runs to her Kokom's to show her grandmother the special present. Kokum agrees that the shoes are lovely. Maggie is pleased to learn Kokum also has a gift hidden under the bed. Maggie finds a bag with a beautiful pair of beaded moccasins. The moccasins are especially appreciated because Kokum is blind.
Dreamstones is a children's picture about the traditional Inuit stone landmarks called inukshuks. In this story, the son of a ship's captain leaves the safety of the ship to explore the surrounding Arctic landscape. Set in the time period when ships travelled from England into the Canadian Arctic, the story is told from the point of view of the young English boy. When the ship becomes icebound, the boy must entertain himself over the winter. On night he goes off the ship to explore the area. The story then takes a magical turn when the boy becomes lost in the winter night.