The Porcupine Year is the third children's novel in Ojibwe writer Louise Erdrich's series about the life of a 19th-century Ojibwe family set on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. This story is set in 1852 and the lead character, Omakayas, is twelve-years-old as her family is forced to move from their beloved land because of the demands by the chimookomanag, the white people, who are moving closer to the people every year. The family decides to travel north to meet up with a sister's family.
The Old Man with the Otter Medicine (Eneeko Nambe Il'oo K'eezho) is a traditional Dene legend told by George Blondin, respected Elder and storyteller, and adapted by his late son John Blondin (1960-1996). This new Theytus publication is a bilingual picture book with the story printed in English and the Weledeh Dialect of the Dogrib (Na-Dene) language. This simply-told story for young children explains how a village of Dene people long ago were used to catching many fish from the nearby lake. But one day the fish were no more.
Wisdom Weaver Bina'nitin Bidziilgo Atl'ohi is a bilingual English and Navajo picture book published by Salina Bookshelf that tells a simple story about the importance of weaving. The gentle story explores the relationship between a young girl and her grandmother who teaches the child all the tasks involved in creating a beautiful Navajo rug. From the shearing of the sheep and cleaning the wool to spinning the wool to make yarn, all the steps are included in simple sentences with appropriate illustrations. The pair even selects plants to makes dyes for colouring the wool.
Yetsa's Sweater is a charming picture book by Sylvia Olsen about the women of the Coast Salish who continue to create beautiful Cowichan sweaters. It is an effective picture book that demonstrates First Nations experiential learning. Yetsa is spending time with her grandmother assisting in the preparation of the sheep's wool needed to knit these amazing one-of-a-kind sweaters. The story and illustrations show the love and understanding between the generations as Yetsa's mother joins the group to complete the many tasks needed to make the wool ready for knitting.
Shin-chi's Canoe is Nicola Campbell's sequel to Shi-shi-etko, the story about a young girl's first year at residential school. In this second picture book, Shi-shi-etko returns for another school year and brings along her six-year-old brother. Shin-chi loves to fish and accompany his father in the canoe. But a new experience awaits and his sister helps him prepare for what will happen at school. Their mother explains to the children that she does not want to send them but there are laws compelling parents to send their children to boarding schools.
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.
Goodbye Buffalo Bay is the latest book from the writing team, Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden. This chapter book tells the story of Larry Loyie's teen years when he spent his final year at residential school and then went out into the world to make a living. This novel is the sequel to As Long as the River Flow: A Last Summer Before Residential School and When the Spirits Dance. The years spent at residential school culminate in a final year spent with the priests and nuns and most importantly one's friends and siblings.
Buffalo Song is a new picture book from prolific Abenaki storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac. This fictionalized account of the initial rescue of the American bison or buffalo is told through the eyes of the people first involved. The story opens in the year 1873 as two Nez Perce riders come across the bodies of slaughtered buffalo on the floor of a protected canyon. Hunters had taken only the tongues and left the animals where they fell. Only a weakened calf survived and the boy and his father take the dying calf to a man known as Sam Walking Coyote.
Which Way Should I Go is a recent picture book written by Sylvia Olsen and based on the memories of Olsen's friend Ron Martin. This picture book offers young children an opportunity to understand that we all have choices to make in our lives even if we are young. Joey is a young Nuuchahnulth boy who has a happy and cheerful disposition. Even his friend, his teacher, and the store owner notice that Joey always has a smile on his face.
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.