Ancient Thunder by Ojibwe author and illustrator Leo Yerxa is the 2006 winner of the Governor General's Award for Illustration. Yerxa draws on his appreciation and delight for the wild horses of the Plains as inspiration for the book. In this unique tribute, Yerxa works with hand-made watercolour paper that has the appearance of leather. His technique, developed through patient experimentation, gives the magnificent images of galloping horses the sense that their thundering hooves are like a force of nature.
Kokum's Gift: Teachings from Ojibway and Cree Spirituality, Culture, and Traditions is a unique publication that is part art exhibition catalogue, part historical photograph archive, part quotable quote and part poetry collection. All this content was developed into a cohesive whole by Cree and Ojibwe artist and writer Gordon Miller. Born in Gogama, Ontario, a small town in Northern Ontario, Miller is a member of the Mattagami First Nation.
For a Girl Becoming by Creek poet and musician Joy Harjo is a picture book that celebrates the life stages of a girl from birth to adulthood in verse and colourful pastel illustrations. This 48-page work begins with a home birth as an extended family welcomes a new baby to the family. Both mother's and father's family bring gifts for the newborn. As the child grows and comes to new challenges and milestones her family is again encouraging her with words, blessings, and special gifts. The family offers words of knowledge as the girl grows up to be a woman of this extended family.
Hush, Baby, Hush!: Lullabies from Around the World is a picture book for young children that provides the lyrics for lullabies from 29 cultures around the world. The lyrics are provided in English and the original language for the bedtime song. The music for the songs is also provided. The cultures represented include Aboriginal people of Australia, Inuit, Wampanoag, Turkey, Iraq, Mexico, Hindi, Yoruba, Norway, Wales, Malawi, Spain, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, African American, Czech, Austria, Bangaladesh, Italy, France, Russia, Brazil, Hungary, Iran, Korea, Greece, and United Kingdom.
War Dances is Sherman Alexie's new collection of short stories, poetry, and question and answer sequences that cover personal victories and challenges. With his satirical wit and humour Alexie's collection is moving and heart-felt. The title story, War Dances, recounts his interaction with his dying father. Other themes include acculturation, cross-cultural issues, family relationships, deafness, and disability. Winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award.
Plains Cree poet Louise Bernice is an award-winning author who has served as the Saskatchewan Provincial Poet Laureate. Her first collection of poems, Bear Bones and Feathers, comments on the erosion of old ways, the terrors of residential school and the pain inflicted by alcoholism. Despite the dark subject matter she offers a heart-felt portrait of her beloved grandmother, that speak truthfully about her family history. Her biting poems are written in a Cree-inflected English she calls her grassroots tongue.
The Crooked Good, published in 2007 by Coteau, won the Saskatoon Book Award and the Saskatoon Publishers Award and was short listed for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award.The Crooked Good is an epic poem based on the Cree Legend of the Rolling Head, interwoven with the lives of four generations of women. Louise served as the first Aboriginal Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan from 2005-2006. Her work is widely published in anthologies and magazines. First Nation Communities Read 2012 title.
Nighty-Night: A Bedtime Song for Babies is a gentle rhyming poem for infants preparing for sleep. This board book by Richard Van Camp celebrates babies and their parents or caregivers as the babies are sung to sleep at night. Using colour photographs showing a range of parents and babies from various cultural backgrounds, the publisher, McKellar and Martin, has created a soothingly beautiful night-time book. The author acknowledges the world around the young child as the text and image combine to assist in calming the daily night-time process. Highly recommended.
Entre dans la Grande Ronde (The Drum Calls Softly) is Métis writer David Bouchard's picture book co-written with educator Shelley Willier and illustrated by Jim Poitras. This edition is written in French and Cree. 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 French 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.