Friday, September 01, 2023

A Storywalk Featuring Nancy Cooper's BIINDIGEN! AMIK SAYS WELCOME

In the past few months, I've done several blog posts about Native people or their books or art being part of what the public sees when they're out and about. I'm delighted to do another of those posts today. 

As I scrolled through social media yesterday I saw this photo and did one of those "WAIT!" exclamations in my head. I recognized the book on the storywalk sign immediately. I wanted more information!

The book on the sign is Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome. Written by Nancy Cooper (member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation) and illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (Ojibwe, member of Wasauksing First Nation)  here's the cover of the book on that sign:

Storywalks are one way of bringing visibility to books. This particular storywalk is in the City of Vaughan in Ontario, Canada at Sugarbush Heritage Park. The Vaughan Public Library has a blog post about the storywalks, and says this about Biindigen!:
This educational picture book follows Amik the beaver and her little sister Nishiime as they prepare to meet their cousins, while teaching young readers about beavers and their role in the Canadian environment.
I'd add that anyone who reads this book has the chance to learn some Native words. Regular readers of American Indians in Children's Literature know that I especially love seeing the word 'nation' in books for children. That's here, too, in the final pages. 

Visibility! It matters. If you do storywalks for your community, please add books by Native writers. If you need suggestions let me know! I'm glad to help.

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