Native people

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.

Read the full post…

Book Review: 1621, A New Look At Thanksgiving

1621 1

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…

Book Review: The Good Luck Cat By Joy Harjo & Paul Lee

GoodLuckCat 1Having recently become aware of the gross misrepresentation, stereotyping and objectifying of Native people in children’s literature, I’ve been on a search to learn more and find books that properly portray Native culture. Thanks to Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children’s Literature, I have several lists to start with! Here is one of the first that caught my eye with its eventful story combined with beautiful acrylic images. This is The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo, illustrated by Paul Lee, 2000. Read the full post…