Woogie is a good luck cat, one in “millions and billions,” a “stripedy cat with tickling whiskers and green
electric eyes” who “purrs as if she has a drum near her heart.” But Woogie has already used up eight of her
nine lives – does her disappearance mean her good luck has run out? Joy Harjo is an accomplished poet,
and this delightful picture book is pure poetry. WORD CHOICE, ORGANIZATION, VOICE
Nicholson, Caitlin Dale w/ Leona Morin-Neilson
This simple story in Cree and English explores a young child’s relationship to his grandmother, or Kokhom, as they go for a walk in the woods to pick rosehips. The young boy follows his grandmother, walking, listening, picking, praying, and eating, just as she does. In do so, he absorbs the rich cultural traditions and values of his Cree heritage.
that they could almost touch her. But now Temma is gone, Chi’s momma is expecting a baby, and none of
the birds pay any attention to her. And the sound of a loon especially makes Chi’ feel like crying. The
cranes come back in their season, but Temma is never coming back. As Momma helps her see the
continuity of birth, life and death, Chi’ begins to understand that the cranes that come back every year may
not all be the same individual cranes, and like the song of the cranes, “her Temma would always be inside
Just a Walk
Just A Walk is a charming children's story about a young boy named Chuck who goes on a simple walk that turns into an adventure. On his walk Chuck encounters animals, fish and birds that transport him over their territories. This action packed book leaves Chuck in his own backyard telling his mother that he just went for a walk. The second part of the book repeats the story with black and white coloring book style illustrations and key words left blank for the reader to complete. An easy-reading book for young children.
OPI Unit Available
The Little Duck Sikihpsis
This lovely little story-in Cree and English and gorgeously illustrated by Mary Longman (Saulteaux) – is
about a lonely little mud duck who longs to be a handsome Cree dancer, but finds he is more comfortable
and happy in his own skin, with his own duck people. WORD CHOICE, SENTENCE FLUENCY, CONVENTIONS
I Can’t Have Bannock But The Beaver Has a Dam
--Cree, Assinaboine and Saulteaux
I Can't Have Bannock But The Beaver Has A Dam is a wonderful picture book for reading aloud to young children. The character is a young boy who asks his mother to make some bannock. Bannock is a traditional bread made by most First Nations in northern Canada. The mother explains why she can't use her stove until the hydro line is fixed. It all comes down to the fact that a beaver has cut down a tree for his dam. This is a story set in a modern-day home where traditional foods are cooked. A recipe for bannock is included. ORGANIZATION
Translated by Pat Pierre, Melanie Sandoval & Tachini Pete
This book is a nonfiction book about huckleberry picking. It is illustrated with contemporary photographs. In the Salish/Pend d’ Oreille calendar, August is the Month of Huckleberry. The book has simple text in Salish which is translated in the back. Additionally, some background information about huckleberries is provided.
White Bead Ceremony
It is time for Mary Greyfeather to receive her Native American name in a traditional White Bead Ceremony. The entire family will gather for the event. What name will Great Grandmother choose for the little girl? Will it be a horse name? Or the name of a swimming animal? ORGANIZATION, CONVENTIONS
Where Did You Get Your Moccasins?
In answer to his classmates’ questions about his moccasins, a child describes in detail how his kokum, his
grandmother, made them. Each page builds on the previous one, and children will like the unexpected (for
some) ending. ORGANIZATION
Two Pairs of Shoes
Today is a special day for Maggie, for she has been given two pairs of shoes – moccasins and patent leather.
As a child of two worlds, she must now “remember when and how to wear each pair.” A simply told story
with an important message. IDEAS, ORGANIZATION
OPI Unit Available
This endearing story is of a young Aboriginal foster child who is given a special gift by his foster mother. Her gift of warmth and thoughtfulness helps her young foster child by encouraging self-esteem, acceptance, and love. Based on the author’s personal experience. Written for children of any background with a positive message of unconditional love.
This is a beautifully illustrated colorful book is a great book to use when teaching students to predict with pictures as they read. The text is all in Salish and therefore, most students will have no word clues to assist them. The pictures are crisp. This book is published in cooperation with the Salish language immersion school in Arlee. The book does not come with an English translation, but one will be available at the Co-op.
Huckleberries, Buttercups, and Celebrations
--Salish and Chippewa-Cree
Salish poet Jennifer Greene shares the seasonal and cultural activities of each month as seen through a child’s eyes. Jennifer’s sonnets portray the cycles of a year that blend the strength and beauty of the past in the magic of the seasons today on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Salish and Dine’ artist Antoine Sandoval creates images that teach and celebrate a living culture.
WORD CHOICE, PRESENTATION
OPI Unit Available
Red Parka Mary
What is it about the little old lady down the road that frightens the little boy? Told in the first person, this is
a gentle tale of the growing friendship between “Red Parka Mary” and “Mister.” WORD CHOICE, VOICE
The Story of the Mean Little Old Lady
This story has the Salish story told in Salish with English appearing side by side. Because it not a translation, some parts in English do not appear to make as much sense. However, the story still easily is conveyed and a nice lesson is learned.
The Range Eternal
Once there was a time, and that was not so long ago, when the land owned us the way we now think we own
the land. Outside the cities, it still does. Louise Erdrich’s second picture book comes from such a time, and
such a place; from her memories of visits to her grandparents’ home on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in
North Dakota. It is told in the voice of a little girl who might have been her mother. “The Range Eternal”
is not only the brand name of the family’s beloved wood stove. It is also “the range of the buffalo, who once
covered the plains of North Dakota so thickly that they grazed from horizon to horizon.” The pictures
convey both the beauty and power of the land, the bitter cold of a Dakota winter, and also the goodness of
the life that can be found there. This is a lovely and powerful book. SENTENCE FLUENCY, WORD CHOICE, IDEAS
OPI Unit Available
There’s not enough time to mail-order tins to make the cone-shaped jingles so that Jenna can dance Girls at
the next pow wow. So Jenna finds another way to make her dress sing. The illustrations by Cornelius Van
Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu are a complement to this gentle, poetic story of reciprocity and joy. This book is
a gift from a gifted writer to all of the Indian youngsters who enter the dance circle. WORD CHOICE, ORGANIZATION
Morning on the Lake
Waboose Bourdeau, Jan
A child and his grandfather spend the day together, morning, noon, and night; on the lake, a rocky cliff, and
related.” SENTENCE FLUENCY, WORD CHOICE, ORGANIZATION
The Wish Wind
Have you ever wished to be in another time, another place? Boy wishes that Winter’s cold, the snow and ice, could be relieved by Spring and the warmth of New Sun. Then, that Spring be changed to Summer, when the water is warm enough for swimming. Then, that he were old enough not to be told what to do. Each time Boy complains, Wish Wind reluctantly grants him his wish. The Wish Wind points out our longing for change, a change in the weather or a change in our age, with an unspoken reminder that enjoying each moment for what it offers now is a precious part of life.
Turtle’s Race with Beaver
Bruchac, Joseph & Bruchac, James
Turtle lives in a beautiful little pond with everything a happy turtle needs. But, one spring, Turtle awakes from hibernation to discover that her lovely home has been invaded! A pushy beaver has taken over Turtle’s beloved pond and refuses to share. Instead, he challenges her to a race to determine who can stay. But how can a little turtle outswim a big, powerful beaver? This charming traditional story is story of brains versus brawn.
Raccoon’s Last Race
Bruchac, Joseph & Bruchac, James
Long ago, Azban the Raccoon did not look the way he does today. He had long legs and was the fastest of all the animals. But he was also the most conceited. He loved to challenge the other animals to a race, and while he ran past them he would call out taunts: “Look at you, ho ho ho! You are very, very slow!” Needless to say, the animals soon refused to race him. The only one left to be challenged by Azban was Big Rock, who had been sitting atop a tall hill for a long, long time and had no intention of traveling. Well, that wasn’t about to stop Azban the Raccoon. But he would never be the same again. This Native American trickster tale, by the Bruchac team is energetic, shrewd, and laugh-out-loud funny.
When Turtle Grew Feathers
In this Choctaw variant of Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” storyteller Tim Tingle reveals some unexpected twists and expands the cast to include a wild turkey, a colony of ants, and a cheering squad of Little Bitty Turtles as well. When Rabbit boastfully challenges Turtle to a race, he gets his comeuppance…and Turtle gets a little assist from his winged friend, Turkey. In the process, we learn why Turtle’s shell is cracked and why you never see Rabbit racing Turtle today.
WORD CHOICE, CONVENTIONS
The Day Matthew Touched the Sky
Alyssa Kelly (Pend d’ Oreille)
Translated by Johnny Arlee
This is a story about a boy who learns the importance of caring for the Earth after a trip with his grandfather. Set in Montana the story describes places that are familiar to Montana students. The story is told in both English and translated below in Salish/Pend d’ Oreille. The author and illustrator is a member of the Pend d’ Oreille tribe on the Flathead Reservation and was raised by her fluent speaking grandmother who helped teach her the important value of the Salish language.
WORD CHOICE, SENTENCE FLUENCY
When the Shadbush Blooms
“My grandparents’ grandparents walked beside the same stream where I walk with my brother, and we can
see what they saw. Deer leap in the woods. Hawks fly in circles overhead. Frogs splash, and turtles sun
themselves.” When a Lenape girl goes to the stream to fish for shad, she knows that another girl did the
same generations before. She knows that, through the circle of the seasons, things change and things
remain the same, as they always have. Fadden’s paintings, in acrylic on canvas on a palette of earth
colors, complement the words. When the Shadbush Blooms is a poem, a song, a prayer for Earth and
her inhabitants. ORGANIZATION, IDEAS
Beaver Steals Fire: A Salish Coyote Story (Integrity, Honesty)
Confederated Salish/Kootenai Tribes
This story, as Salish historian Germaine White writes, “represents thousands of years of oral tradition.
We have tried to remain faithful to our elders in our interpretation.” As Beaver Steals Fire begins, the
Salish and Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee reminds us that “the elders usually bring out the stories in
November and put them away again when the snow is gone.” The stories are real and alive. They are a
treasure to be treated carefully and lovingly, taken out at the right time and put away to rest until it is
time to take them out again. Coyote is appointed the leader of an all-animal-being raiding party to the
sky world, to steal fire for themselves and the humans, who have not yet arrived. After devising a clever
plan, Coyote, which Grizzly Bear, Wren, Snake, Frog, Eagle, and Beaver bravely and resourcefully
respond to the many dangers hurled their way. “This story,” White says, “teaches our children how
difficult it was to bring fire from the sky world and how important it was to animals and humans. Now it
is time for humans to return the gift for the fire to the animals.” With Johnny Arlee’s spare telling and
Sam Sandoval’s luminous watercolor art, BeaverSteals Fire will appeal to the youngest readers and
Young Troy, a budding artist, lives with his parents in the city, far from the “many-colored painted hills and
the sweet pure air” of his home reservation in Montana. When he gets to visit his grandparents, Troy is
treated to a summer of Cheyenne art and culture – and he also learns that there are more than a few ways of
making art and keeping traditions alive. This beautifully illustrated, appealing little story will resonate with
Indian kids everywhere. SENTENCE FLUENCY, ORGANIZATION,
The Gift of the Bitterroot
As told by Johnny Arlee
--Salish and Pend d’Oreille
This is the Salish and Pend d’Oreille origin story of the Bitterroot. In addition to the narrative and beautiful
illustrations, this picture book includes historical and scientific information about the Bitterroot plant and it’s
connection to the Salish and Pend d’Oreille people.
Written in Salish by Echo Brown and Chaney Bell
Translated by Sophie Mays
This is a nonfiction text about the annual Bitterroot Dig that takes place on the Flathead Reservation. The story begins with the arrival of people and moves through the process from the elders beginning the process to leaving the dig the same way they came. The book is illustrated with contemporary photographs that show both the cultural and scientific component of the Bitterroot Dig. The book is written in Salish, but an English translation follows at the back of the book. This book would make a nice companion piece to traditional story Gift of the Bitterroot as told by Johnny Arlee.
WORD CHOICE, PRESENTATION
The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story
Retold by Bruchac, Joseph
The legend begins long ago, when the first man and woman had a quarrel. The woman leaves in ager, but the Sun, taking pity on the husband, sends tempting berries to Earth to slow the wife’s retreat. Only one berry has the power to reunite the couple. Luminous paintings perfectly complement this Cherokee tale of respect and friendship. SENTENCE FLUENCY, ORGANIZATION
For millennia, the great buffalo herds provided material and spiritual sustenance for the Salish and other Indian peoples who inhabited much of North America. This sacred relationship was disrupted time and again, as the Salish were pushed west by the expanding United States. By the 1870s, when Buffalo Song begins, the buffalo are once again scarce and in danger of disappearing. A young Nez Percé boy and his father rescue a buffalo calf whose entire herd has been slaughtered. They bring the little orphan to a Pend d’Oreille family who are raising several other buffalo calves. Drawing in good part on oral interviews with Salish elders in the 1920s and ’30s, Bruchac weaves together the stories of the boy and his father, the calf and his adopted family, and the compassion and dedication that led to the eventual restoration of the buffalo. In doing so, he fashions the events of a complex story into a satisfying and accessible picture book that will resonate on many levels with young children.