The Pencil is a unique original story based on the childhood experiences of Inuk author Susan Avingaq. Told in 36-page picture book format with engaging colour illustrations by Charlene Chua, this story will appeal to primary level students from all regions of Canada. In the story three Inuit children are at home in their iglu with their father while their midwife mother is away assisting at a birth in their community. The main character Susan retells how as a child she and her siblings would watch their mom write letters to friends and family with a special tool, a tiny pencil.
Bear for Breakfast, Makwa kidji kijebà wìsiniyàn is the recent Robert Munsch picture book about a young boy who wants to have a unique breakfast. Instead of having a bowl of cereal or some delicious pancakes Donovan tells his mother he wants to eat bear for breakfast. Donovan’s grandfather explained that as a child he often ate bear for his breakfast. Mother explains that she had just shopped for groceries but if Donovan hurried he might find some bear meat for his morning meal. Donovan immediately sets out to locate bear. He meets locates several animals but there are no bears.
Zoe and the Fawn is a delightful 32-page children's picture book. The simple story revolves around a girl named Zoe and her father as they go outside to feed and water their horses and see a tiny fawn off in the distance. With the simple questions asked by Zoe about the location of the fawn's mother and father's gentle responses, the reader is taken on a magical adventure of the woods where there are birds and animals.
Awasis and the World-Famous Bannock is a charming picture book by the Swan River First Nation author Dallas Hunt. Added to the mix of this fun text are the colourful illustrations from Metis media artist and filmmaker Amanda Strong. The Cree author mixes key Cree vocabulary within this story about a young girl who is delivering her Kohkum’s (grandmother’s” bannock to a relative. But on her way Awasis allows the bread to fall into a stream. What should the little girl do? With the help of her animal friends the girl collects all the ingredients for making bannock.
The Boy Who Walked Backwards is a picture book published by the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre and written by singer songwriter Ben Sures. This story recounts an actual historical event about a young Ojibwe boy from Serpent River, Ontario who uses a traditional game to fool nuns sent to apprehend this child after he failed to return to residential school after a school break. Leo Day attends residential school but finds that this harsh reality of everyday existence is not what he expected when he is sent there to learn.
Meet Tom Longboat is one of the new picture book titles in the Scholastic Canada Biography Series featuring accessible text, full-colour illustrations, with historical notes and timelines that provide even more information on Tom Longboat’s (1886-1949) background and incredible accomplishments.
After a long school year in Yellowknife, Akuluk would prefer to spend summer vacation in the south, but as soon as she heads out on the land with her grandfather, her visit to the Arctic becomes much more interesting! Akuluk is not excited about visiting her grandparents in Nunavut. She would rather head south for summer vacation, somewhere with roller coasters and cotton candy. There can't be much to do way up there, Akuluk figures. But as soon as she steps off the plane and sees all the exciting animals that the tundra has to offer, Akuluk forgets all about her dreams of going south.
Nimoshom and His Bus is a 24-page picture book written by Cree-Ojibwe author Penny Thomas with captivating pastel watercolour illustrations by Karen Hibbard for Highwater Books. In this gentle story young student readers meet a kind Elder Nimoshom (my grandfather) bus driver. He drives the yellow school bus for First Nations students. Every school day he greets the riders with the greeting, Tansi meaning hello. In fact the author introduces 13 Swampy Cree terms with meaning easily woven into the text. A glossary and pronunciation guide is provided at the end of the book.
How Medicine Came to the People: A Tale of the Ancient Cherokees is the picture book story of the origins of Cherokee herbal medicine. As the people begin to outnumber the animals and then to hunt them for their hides and meat, the days of peaceful coexistence are over. The animals take their revenge on the people by making them sick, creating rheumatism, coughs, and colds, aches and pains, fevers and swellings and rashes and allergies. The people are saved by their only remaining allies: the plants and trees that they have cultivated, who show them how to use herbal medicine to survive.