Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nicholson and Morin-Neilson's NIWECHIHAW/I HELP

(Note: This review may not be published elsewhere without written permission of Beverly Slapin.)

Nicholson, Caitlin Dale, and Leona Morin-Neilson (Cree), Niwechihaw/I Help. Color paintings by Caitlin Dale Nicholson, Cree translation by Leona Morin-Neilson (Cree). Groundwood, 2008, preschool-up.

Traditional Indian elders generally teach by showing, and children learn by helping. As they go for a walk in the woods to gather rosehips, a young Cree child learns by watching and helping his Kokum. As the child follows his grandmother—walking, praying, picking, listening, eating—he is learning about his place in the world, his relationships to his family and to the land, culture and community. There is no lecturing or moralizing here, just quietness, appreciation of what is, and a good time. In Cree and English, the spare text is complemented by vibrantly colored acrylic-on-canvas paintings

—Beverly Slapin

Note from Debbie: The book is available from Oyate.

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