Sunday, November 26, 2017

Recommended: NIMOSHOM AND HIS BUS by Penny M. Thomas

Several people wrote to tell me about Nimoshom and His Bus. Due out in 2018 from Highwater Press, the story is by Penny M. Thomas (Cree-Ojibway background), with illustrations by Karen Hibbard.

If you're a regular reader of AICL, you know that we're always delighted by books by Native writers--especially ones set in the present. Books like Nimoshom and His Bus provide Native children with mirrors that non-Native children find in abundance. When I was a kid, a yellow school bus came onto our reservation and took the bunch of us Nambé kids to school. I rode the bus for years and years. I remember one driver. Eddie. Because he wore a big cowboy hat. It would have been so cool to have one who would have used Tewa words when we got on the bus, or, when we got a bit rambunctious!

That's Nimoshom on the cover. Nimoshom is a Cree word that means "my grandfather." On each page, we see him engaging with children and using Cree words. "Tansi" he says, when he greets them. Of course, that means hello. The straightforward text is terrific. Hibbard's illustrations perfectly capture the warmth and joy of the kids on that bus, and the guy who drives their bus.

I highly recommend Nimoshom and His Bus! It'd be a simple thing to use other Native words in addition to--or instead of--the Cree words in the book. In fact... When it comes out in 2018, I'm going to send a copy of this to the Tewa teacher at the school that serves Nambé kids!


Ava Jarvis said...

The knowledge this book exists, and this post, made me incredibly happy. ^_^

By the way, I always appreciate the books recommended here—half of them are on audiobook as well, which is one of the few ways I can enjoy stories anymore.

Matthew C. Winner said...

I LOVE this book! Excited to share my podcast interview with Penny Thomas! Goes live Dec. 15th!

Anonymous said...

I really love this book <3

Rebecca Ogle said...

If someone who speaks Cree (or Penny M. Thomas herself) posts a readaloud, I'd super appreciate it! For now, I've been going down the YouTube Cree lessons rabbit hole to prep for storytime. I think I've got the hang of "tansi." (In general, I'd love to see audiobooks or readalouds of books written in indigenous languages - seems like it would be good for revitalization and for "windows" as children of all backgrounds could hear the living language spoken by someone who speaks it.)