Native American/First Nations

Review: Fry Bread By Maillard & Martinez-Neal

Today’s food picture book is a “Native American Family Story.” It is a powerful and poetic book about fry bread – a food full of shape, flavor, art, family, diversity, history and tradition. Take a look at Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, 2019.

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25 Days – Book 15: A Coyote Solstice Tale

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Today I am in the mood for a slightly odd Christmas story. Thankfully, a new book discovery fits the bill perfectly. Though not your typical Christmas literary fare, this Canadian winter tale is full of deadpan humor and an anti-consumerism message that will make you smile and warm your heart. Here’s a glimpse of A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King, pictures by Gary Clement, 2009.

A Coyote Solstice Tale cover

I bookmarked this book a while ago with hopes that it would be special enough to add to my wintery, holiday reading. When it arrived, I was very surprised at its size considering it looks and feels much more like a chapter book. But fear not, it is a smart and clever picture book through and through, just in a more compact and perhaps manageable size even despite its added page length.

While the world is covered in wintery snow, Coyote is preparing for a feast with his friends. When a knock comes to his door, he is surprised to find a girl in a reindeer costume of sorts. He decides to be hospitable, despite the obvious awkwardness of communicating with a human who thinks she is a reindeer. Read the full post…

Book Review: 1621, A New Look At Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! Last year, I shared one of my new favorite Thanksgiving themed books by Melissa Sweet, Balloons Over Broadway, that celebrates the famous parade and its history. It was again a big hit at this year’s storytime. This year, my mind has been struggling with some different feelings about what used to be a favorite holiday. With my broadening education about the continual stereotyping of Native people in picture books, I’ve become quite disheartened towards typical Thanksgiving picture books with their constant questionable portrayals of “Indians” and misrepresentation of “the first Thanksgiving.” Not wanting to disdain the holiday completely, I am striving to take Debbie Reese’s comment to heart and even beyond books: “Sometimes I think that Thanksgiving books for young children should just focus on things people are grateful for.”

So I am focusing as much as possible on being thankful. But at the same time, I’m also intrigued to find books that discuss the issues about the common misrepresentation of a happy feast with a disproportionate grouping of “Pilgrims” and “Indians.” This is the first that I have pored over and learned so much from. I am incredibly excited to share such a great resource. Join me as I glean information from 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac with Plimoth Plantation, 2001. Read the full post…