Families is a 32-page picture published by Inhabit Media about a grade two student who attends school in his home community of Iqaluit. The simple book explains a variety of families living in the town from single parent home, a home with a mother, father and child, a girl with two mothers, a boy with two fathers, a girl living with her grandmother, and a boy with two families—a father in Iqaluit and a mother in Ottawa. The student begins to realize that no matter your own kind of family if there is caring and love that is what counts.
The Muskox and the Caribou is a 32-page picture book about a young muskox that becomes separated from his herd and his mother. But he is found by a young caribou and his mother becoming part of the caribou herd. Mother caribou felt concern for this young animal and she brought him into her herd taking care of him and encouraging her caribou son to play with the muskox. Days passed and muskox grew larger and his differences among the young caribou grew more visible. One day when mother caribou was searching for the muskox herd she came across a few muskox in the distance.
Rez Rebel is the 2017 young adult novel by author Melanie Florence. In this book she writes with clarity and honesty about teen suicides in First Nations communities. Set in a fictionalized Cree reserve, main character Floyd Twofeathers, finds that his home community is undergoing devastating change and loss as young adults have attempted and succeeded suicide. His parents have their own approach that threatens to send his father into a depression.
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 Odjick of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabe community in Quebec. 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.