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Picture Books

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A is for Aboriginal
Authors:
Joseph MacLean
Artists:
Brendan Heard
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

The reader will discover some interesting bits of history and tradition that are not widely known. Many, for example, do not know that Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin (two of the American Founding Fathers) both attribute the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, one of the world’s oldest democracies, as the inspiration for the American Constitution. Or, that the origin of ‘Red Indian’ is not because of skin colour, but from the ochre (iron oxide) used by the now extinct Beothuk to colour their skin red – red skin.

At the bottom of each letter there is a list of Indiginous peoples that begin with that letter. The idea is that the names can be recited as a sort of poem of remembrance. This book celebrates Aboriginal heritage and culture and is beautifully illustrated by Brendan Heard, a Canadian artist who works in oil paint and digital medium.

The author, Joseph MacLean, is an historian by education, a story teller by avocation and a social entrepreneur by trade. The book was written ten years ago when Joseph was working on a literacy project in Vancouver’s infamous DTES (Downtown Eastside) – the poorest postal code in Canada.

Authentic Canadian Content
$24.95

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Flight of the Hummingbird
Format: Hardcover

The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbirdósymbol of wisdom and courageódemonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.The parable is embraced by two of the worldís most influential leaders: Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement (which you can read about here), and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has spoken widely about his commitment to preserving the environment. This courageous little book features artwork by internationally renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. His distinct and lively Haida Manga style engages perfectly with this inspirational story that encourages every individual to act on behalf of the worldís limited and precious resources.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$18.00

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I Am Raven: A Story of Discovery
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

David Bouchard dives into his own life and identity in this beautifully illustrated book. Personal totems are often described as animal spirit guardians. Totems are passed down through family lines. The beautiful prose describes an amazing personal journey of discovery, finally, inviting the reader to do the same.

An Elder once asked me if my spirit animal guardian was Bear. I must have looked somewhat confused because she went on to explain that Bear was the wise Elder, the teacher. She told me that Bear understood as well as any what to take from our mother Earth and how important it was to always put back that which we took. “You’ve been a teacher many years? Are you guided by Bear?” she asked. “YES!” I answered confidently. “Yes. In fact, my guardian is the Grizzly Bear” I smiled. 

Dear reader, you must understand that I have always been fascinated by the powerful giant, Bear. “If you want to be certain of this,” she said softly, “all you have to do is close your eyes before travelling to your dreamtime – close your eyes and picture your guardian. Thank it. Ask it for guidance. Try to see it. It will be there for you. It does not hide. It is proud to be part of who you are.” 

That night, I couldn’t wait to get to bed. I was very anxious to see my totem. I knew to be Bear. I closed my eyes and the first and only thing I saw was a big, goofy looking Raven staring straight at me. He looked ragged; one of his neck feathers was sticking off to the side. I spoke to him, respectfully. “Hello Raven. It is good to see you here in my dreamtime. However, I’d be grateful if you would just step over to the side – either side – just step aside please because Bear is trying to come into my vision and – just step aside a little – please. 

I fell asleep. The next day, I shared my story with the knowing Elder who didn’t hesitate to tell me that she wasn’t surprised to hear my story. She knew that I had succeeded in school in spite of the fact that I was a weak reader. She knew that I had done things in my life that could have been seen as being too much for me. She knew my wife and that I had to be very cunning indeed to have talked such a beautiful woman into marrying me. The lesson I learned from that Elder that day came to me through the last words she spoke to me. “David, surely you know that you are not Bear. You are Raven.”

Reviews
"I Am Raven represents another chapter in the Canadian children’s literature depiction of the First Nation experience in Canada. What’s more, however, is that the text is so well written and the illustrations so well crafted that I Am Raven is not presented in any sort of an exclusionary manner. Rather, the notion of totems and “animal spirit guardians” is presented as an idea for everyone, regardless of their cultural identity. The author, David Bouchard, is Métis, and the illustrator, Andy Everson, has K'omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations ancestry. The author and illustrator’s evident pride in their ancestry contributes to a powerful, engaging, fascinating and, simply, lovely book for readers young and old." - Gregory Bryan, CM Magazine 

Additional Information
32 pages

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$19.95

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Missing Nimama
Artists:
Francois Thisdale
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A young mother, one of the many missing indigenous women, watches over her small daughter as she grows up without her nimama, experiencing important milestones - her first day of school, first dance, first date, wedding, first child - from afar.

A free verse story of love, loss, and acceptance told in alternating voices. Missing Nimama shows the human side of a tragic set of circumstances.

An afterword by the author provides a simple, age-appropriate context for young readers. Includes a glossary of Cree terms.

Reviews
"A free-verse intergenerational story of separation, loss, and daughter-mother connection amid the ongoing crisis of missing First Nations girls and women. . . On each page, Cree author Florence presents two narratives: Kateri's and her missing nimâmâ's. By juxtaposing the daughter's and mother's thoughts and feelings in complementary verse, Florence provides them the opportunity to experience life together from their respective points of view and to talk to each other from a distance. Thisdale's soft-edged, wistful artwork enriches the heartfelt story, strongly capturing the passage of time and Kateri's emotional journey. An afterword is appended, offering simple and relevant information as well as statistics of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women; together with the story, it should help to begin a conversation with young readers. A solid debut picture book that works as a record of voices that are usually unheard, ignored, and forgotten." — Kirkus Reviews

"A touching story related from the point of view of a missing indigenous woman as she watches her daughter grow up without her."— Quill and Quire

Educator Information
This is a picture book best suited for more mature readers (teenagers), as it deals with mature themes and subject matter.

Additional Information
32 pages | 8.50" x 11.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$19.95

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Pictographs: The Graphic Art of James Simon Mishibinijima
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

In Pictographs, Ojibway artist James Simon Mishibinijima brings to life the legends passed down to him by generations of Elders. In this collection of drawings, each image tells a story, silently communicating lessons of harmony, interconnectedness and peace.

Transcending the familiar iconography of the Near North—the crows, the wolves, the loons and the ravens—the drawings of James Simon, known as Mishibinijima, propel readers into a fantastical spirit world, one that is as powerful and mysterious as it is beautiful.

In Mishibinijima’s Pictographs, smooth, quiet drawings serve as a reflection of place, not just of the wild geography of forest and rock of his native Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island but also of the ancestral wisdom of the Elders, whose telling images remain graven into stone on the north shore of Lake Superior and at the burial sites of LaCloche Island.

Mishibinijima’s world is quiet, devoid of language—a world in which the artist listens to the fauna, in which pictographs articulate the essential interconnectedness of nature and in which images themselves become texts of dimly-remembered lessons recited by Elders long passed.

Reviews
"Arresting, elegant, and powerful, the pictographs approach storytelling in an entirely new way to draw readers into a world of spirits, animals, lessons, and knowledge. A silent exploration of interconnectedness and history, the collection speaks volumes." — Open Book Ontario

"Unique and an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, Pictographs: The Graphic Art of James Simon Mishibinijima is an uncommon and very special addition to personal, community, and academic libra[ries]...."— Midwest Book Review

Educator Information
The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 4-12 for these subjects: Art Education, Social Studies.

The language of pictographs is used in this work, not the English or Ojibwe languages.

Additional Information
208 pages | 5.50" x 9.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$24.95

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Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves
Authors:
Trevor Romain
Elizabeth Verdick
Artists:
Steve Mark
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

Stress can make you feel anxious, awful, and afraid. It can leave you jumpy and jittery, upset and uptight. When kids show signs of stress, they need stress management tools that work. With jokes, fun illustrations, and plenty of authentic examples, this book helps kids understand what stress is - and gives tons of tips to cope. Refreshed to address modern stressors like electronic devices and social media, this updated classic helps kids deal with stress like a seasoned panic mechanic.

Additional Information
Revised & Updated Edition
104 pages | 5.13" x 7.00"

Recommended for ages 8 to 13.

$14.99

Quantity:
The Arrival
Authors:
Shaun Tan
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship. He's embarking on the most difficult journey as he's leaving home to build a better future for his family. In this wordless graphic novel, Shaun Tan captures the immigrant experience through clear, mesmerizing images. The reader enters a strange new world, participating in the main character's isolation and ultimately his joy.

$26.99

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The Snow Leopard
Authors:
Jackie Morris
Artists:
Jackie Morris
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

From the beginning of time, high above the hidden valley, Snow Leopard has sung the stars to life, the sun to rise and the moon to wax and wane. She has woven words of protection to keep the hidden valley safe from the world and as she sings, a child lies dreaming the song down in the valley beneath. But time is passing, and Snow Leopard needs to find a singer who will follow her. But while she is searching, soldiers come looking for gold and slaves... Jackie Morris's poetic text weavesthe spirit of nature into a universal myth for our time, drawing threads of transformation into a children's story glistening with wonder. Set against the stunning landscapes of the Himalayas, her superlative illustrations of the nearly-extinct Snow Leopard offer a message of hope at a time when many of the world's wildest places are being worn away by human beings.

$9.99

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Two White Rabbits
Authors:
Jairo Buitrago
Rafael Yockteng
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the US border.

They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey.

As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the US border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant’s perspective.

$18.95

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Weenipeeg
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Cree (Nehiyawak);
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8;

The name Weenipeeg (or Winnipeg) is known to mean dirty water. But how did it get that name? Weepipeeg, a story carried on by Elder Bill Ballantyne, is a children’s book that recounts the gripping true events that led to Winnipeg receiving its name. A journey story at its heart, this beautifully illustrated book will have you on the edge of your seat, while it shares important traditional knowledge.

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$9.95

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