As a new parent I find myself reading a lot of children’s books. I also find myself spending a lot of time at the local library. Last week I ask our children’s librarian which new Indigenous children’s books she would recommend and she gave me this wonderful list of books:
It’s A Mitig! by Bridget George
Guides young readers through the forest while introducing them to Ojibwe words for nature. From sunup to sundown, encounter an amik playing with sticks and swimming in the river, a prickly gaag hiding in the bushes and a big, bark-covered mitig.
Featuring vibrant and playful artwork, an illustrated Ojibwe-to-English glossary and a simple introduction to the double-vowel pronunciation system, plus accompanying online recordings, It’s a Mitig! is one of the first books of its kind. It was created for young children and their families with the heartfelt desire to spark a lifelong interest in learning language.
I Will See You Again by Lisa Bolvin
Presenting “a fresh understanding of death and grief” (Publishers Weekly), this is a breathtaking journey through art, loss, and love from interdisciplinary artist and bioethicist Lisa Boivin. When the author learns of the death of her brother overseas, she embarks on a journey to bring him home. Through memories and dreams of all they shared together and through her Dene traditions, she finds comfort and strength. The lyrical art and story leave readers with a universal message of hope and love.
When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith
When We Are Kind celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness and encourages children to explore how they feel when they initiate and receive acts of kindness in their lives. Celebrated author Monique Gray Smith has written many books on the topics of resilience and reconciliation and communicates an important message through carefully chosen words for readers of all ages. Beautifully illustrated by artist Nicole Neidhardt, this book encourages children to be kind to others and to themselves.
Good Morning World by Paul Windsor
A board book suitable for babies and young toddlers. This book shares good morning wishes through words and artwork.
And of course, I had to add my favourite to the list: In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok
This beautifully written and illustrated book is from the baby’s perspective and tells the warm tale of what it feels like to be in a mother’s pouch.
The author, Nadia Sammurtok is an Inuit writer and educator originally from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Nadia is passionate about preserving the traditional Inuit lifestyle and Inuktitut language so that they may be enjoyed by future generations. Nadia currently lives in Iqaluit, Nunavut, with her family.
By Peyvand Fralick, with the direction of the Marpole Branch of the Vancouver Public Library