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Penny M. Thomas

Penny M. Thomas, of Cree-Ojibway background, believes in approaching healing from all directions, with storytelling key to this purpose. She is an advocate for First Nations people and works in the field of psychology and therapy.

Nimoshom and His Bus
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3; 4;

Nimoshom loved to drive the school bus. Every day, on the way to and from school, he had something to say. Sometimes, he told the kids silly stories. Sometimes, he taught the kids a new word in Cree.

Nimoshom and His Bus introduces basic Cree words. A glossary is included in the back of the book.

"Through accessible language and engaging visual resources, readers are introduced to basic Cree as Nimoshom responds in this language to the children who ride his bus.... The illustrator’s varying the visuals between full double spreads and single page illustrations keeps the pacing lively. Amidst a rural fall setting, with woodland animals, children, and the school bus, Nimoshom’s humorous nature shines through these gentle illustrations. At the end of this story, you just want to give Nimoshom a great big hug!"
Anita Miettunen, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"In this bilingual book, readers follow a bus driver picking up kids and dropping them off before and after school. Like the students on the bus, readers quickly learn that the driver's native language is Cree, and he often speaks to them in his native language. Readers learn that "Nimoshom" means "my grandfather" and that "Ekosani" means thank you" as the author (of Cree descent herself) weaves Cree words into the text, and each new spread almost feels like a gentle wave: yes, we're subtly learning new words, but it never feels strenuous or forced, rather it's calm and poetic."
Let's Talk Picture Books

"While Penny M. Thomas' story is not a plot-driven allegory or a message-based lesson, Nimoshom and His Bus is a sweet introduction to some simple Cree words in the context of a common-place activity for many children.... Karen Hibbard who uses watercolours and pastels to create a gentle background for Nimoshom's day on his bus gives the story a grassroots mood, highly appropriate for a routine day of activity and interaction for this bus driver and his charges. It's very relatable."
Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians

"If you're a regular reader of AICL, you know that we're always delighted by books by Native writers--especially ones set in the present. Books like Nimoshom and His Bus provide Native children with mirrors that non-Native children find in abundance.... I highly recommend Nimoshom and His Bus! It'd be a simple thing to use other Native words in addition to--or instead of--the Cree words in the book.
Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 4-9 / grades K-4.

Recommended for Grades K-4 for the following subject areas: English Language Arts, Social Studies. 

Additional Information
24 pages | 9.00" x 7.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text

Powwow Counting in Cree
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

A unique book for young children that teaches counting from one to ten in the Cree language. Both words and pictures reflect the rich culture and tradition of the Cree people.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text