In alphabetical order by title, here is a collection of books from our library for those first days back and all through the year. For Swan Hills teachers, they are stored for the summer in an orange banker's box on the work bench in the Teachers' Resource Room.
Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon ScieszkaThe twisted team that gave the world Squids Will Be Squids and The Stinky Cheese Man now delivers a whole lot of Baloney. Henry P. Baloney. Henry is an alien schoolkid who needs to come up with one very good excuse to explain why he is late for szkola, again. Otherwise, his teacher Miss Bugscuffle promises, it's Permanent Lifelong Detention. Henry's tall tale of his lost zimulis-received from deep space by Jon Scieszka-is told in at least twenty different Earth languages and graphically recreated in Lane Smith's out-of-this-world illustrations. The unbelievable trip into Henry's wild universe may be the most original excuse ever for being late for szkola. Or it might just be Baloney. Henry P. Baloney.
Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books by Diane deGroat It's the first day of first grade! Gilbert is looking forward to learning how to read and making new friends, but . . .Will the teacher be nice? Will first grade be too hard? Will he like his classmates? Will they like him? Gilbert is excited and nervous at the same time!
Congratulations, Miss Malarkey! by Judy Finchler Miss Malarkey has been acting very strange lately. She's been singing down the halls and laughing with Principal Wiggins. Her students are starting to wonder . . . what if she's quitting teaching? Then Miss Malarkey starts teaching them about wedding traditions around the world. The girls think it's so romantic. The boys just think it's weird. And now they're all a little suspicious. Just what kind of secret is Miss Malarkey hiding?
Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague When Ike Larue is "imprisoned" at the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy, he tries everything to get sent home--weepy letters to his owner, even illness. In reality, Brotweiler is more like camp than prison, but still, Ike's not cut out for life without Mrs. Larue & his creature comforts. Finally, he runs away only to find himself back in Snort City--just in time to save Mrs. Larue's life.Teague is at the top of his fetching form in this madcap comedy where the real world of Brotweiler & the one Ike imagines are brilliantly depicted thru split-screen visuals, the former in color & the latter in b&w.
Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! by Judy Cox Mrs. Millie has lots of fun teasing her kindergartners. She tells them to hang up their goats, eat gorilla cheese sandwiches, and to remember to wear their bats and kittens when they go outside for recess. Coupled with hilarious artwork that literally interprets each of Mrs. Millie's "mistakes," this lighthearted read-aloud sets a typical school day on its ear, even as it teaches a subtle lesson on wordplay.
Give Maggie a Chance by Frieda Wishinsky When push comes to shove, timid Maggie is determined to overcome her catty rival! Now that she can read, Maggie is eager to show her new teacher. But when Maggie is called to the front of the class, her knees shake like jelly, her mouth dries up like a desert, and she can't utter a sound. Frieda Wishinsky addresses an all-too-common fear that primary students face, and gives it a delightful twist that will have early readers howling and turning the pages to find out what happens next.
I Wish I Could Be Like Tommy Blake by David A Poulsen Tommy Blake is good at everything. Everybody likes him including the teacher. "I think she likes him more than me." A young boy finds himself feeling inferior to a classmate until he discovers that he's good at something too, and can even help Tommy Blake, who, it turns out, admires him!
Jennifer Jones Won't Leave Me Alone by Frieda Wishinsky Jennifer Jones is in love and she doesn't care who knows it! But the object of her affection sure does. He's embarrassed by the love poems, the terms of endearment, the cute little red heart stickers, and especially the laughter and snickers from his classmates. He wishes that Jennifer Jones would just move away. And one day, she does! There's no more sickening stickers, no more silly poems--and no more fun. Does he actually miss Jennifer Jones?
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes Lilly loves everything about school, especially her cool teacher, Mr. Slinger. But when Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can't wait until sharing time, Mr. Slinger confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly's fury leads to revenge and then to remorse and she sets out to make amends. Lilly, the star of Chester's Way and Julius, the Baby of the World, is back. And this time she has her name in the title - something she's wanted all along.
Little Miss Spider at Sunnypatch School by David Kirk In this, the second Little Miss Spider adventure, the adorable tiny spider is preparing for her first day at Sunny Patch School. Full of excitement and anticipation, she tries hard to, but just can't, mater her new lessons. In the end, however, she discovers that her true talent is kindness. Now, in a special mini-book format, the menagerie of new school friends and the ever sparkling, simple rhymes of David Kirk's lilting tale will delight children who are both nervous and excited for their own first day of school.
Martin on the Moon by Martine Audet An active daydreamer, Martin can't help his mind from wandering on the first day of school. His teacher's waving arms remind him of the seagulls that fly along the river banks, which reminds him of a summer trip he took with his mother, which reminds him of a poem he wrote, which reminds him...When his teacher gently calls him back to Earth, Martin is embarrassed about his inattention. But when his whole class laughs along with him, Martin happily realizes that his imagination can help him make friends and have fun at school. The spirit of this whimsical story comes alive through the pairing of inquisitive and unexpected words and simple yet surreal illustrations. Nominated for the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l'enfance et la jeunesse in its original French, Martin on the Moon explores the poetry, beauty, and possibility of the first day of school.
Miss Alaineus by Debra Frasier Sage has misheard and misunderstood one of Mrs. Page's weekly vocabulary words. Her error leads to a humbling catastrophe: a momentous tragedy, in front of the entire class. Can Sage turn her vocabulary disaster: an event bringing great misfortune, into a triumph: a true success? Anyone who has ever been daunted: discouraged or disheartened, by a mere word in the dictionary will cheer wildly: in a manner lacking all restraint, as Sage transforms embarrassment into victory in Debra Frasier's touching story of loving--and mistaking--our glorious language.
Miss Bindergarten Stays Home from Kindergarten by Joseph Slate A playful take on a topic that all parents can relate to-getting sick! The ever-lovable Miss Bindergarten is not feeling well. The flu strikes on Sunday, so she has to stay home from kindergarten on Monday. Mr. Tusky (who is a wee bit rusty) will be her substitute, but it just won't be the same. The kindergartners miss Miss Bindergarten! They pass the time by making get-well cards and singing songs, all the while counting out the days that Miss Bindergarten is away. What ever will they do without her?
Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10 by Judy Finchler I know my teacher, Miss Malarkey, lives in our classroom, Room 10. She's there all the time. In fact, all the teachers live at school. They eat dinner in the cafeteria and sleep in the teachers' lounge. I'm sure of it! So why is Miss Malarkey moving into my apartment house?... What could be more surprising than finding out your teacher has a life outside school? In Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10, Judy Finchler and Kevin O'Malley celebrate kids' comic misunderstandings about the private lives of teachers.
Ms. McCaw Learns to Draw by Kaethe Zemach...both a sweet school story AND a lesson for little fingers on how to draw! Dudley Ellington tries, but he's just no good at school. Luckily, he has Ms. McCaw as a teacher. She's patient and she never lets other students pick on Dudley. Also, she knows wonderful things -- why stars shine, how plants grow. Dudley thinks Ms. McCaw knows everything.
Then one day, Ms. McCaw tries to draw a simple face on the chalkboard -- and she can't do it! The other kids start to snicker, but Dudley jumps to the rescue and gives his favorite teacher a drawing lesson. With Kaethe Zemach's cheery illustrations showing the way, all little fingers will itch to take up a pencil!
My New Teacher and Me! by Al Yonkovic "Weird Al" Yankovic's new tale of Billy, the irrepressible star of the New York Times bestselling When I Grow Up, is an uproarious back-to-school delight. Dazzling wordplay and sparkling rhyme combine in a unique appreciation of the rewards of unabashed originality and the special joy of viewing the world gently askew.
My School's a Zoo by Stuart Smith Every school has its share of bookworms. Some schools have bugs in their computers. And lots of schools have spelling bees. But this school has bears. This school has owls. This school is a ZOO! Imagination runs wild in this fun-filled story about a school packed with pythons, teeming with tigers, and swimming with starfish. Stu Smith's lively text and David Catrow's hilarious art will have kids looking at school -- and words -- in a whole new way!
The New Bear at School by Carrie Weston Boris the bear is new at school--and all the other animals are afraid of him! Pitch-perfect writing and delightfully charming illustrations will make this a treasured starting school story.It's hard enough being the new kid at school, but when you're a big bear like Boris, it's even worse! Poor Boris tries his best to be gentle, but his sharp-toothed smile scares away his classmates. In the end, the animals find they love having Boris on their side! With a heartwarming story and charming illustrations, THE NEW BEAR AT SCHOOL will touch anyone who has ever felt left out.
Night School by Loris Lesynski Eddie likes to stay up late. His problems seems solved when Eddie discovers a school for kids just like him. He quickly enrolls. An unusual school bus picks him up, and away he goes. He notices, however, that things are a bit odd at school, eerie and peculiar. They study stars and owls and werewolf howls. Around 4 a.m. Eddie begins to feel tired! When he asks when morning will come, the teacher sends the new kids to the office. When the principal says he'll keep them there forever, Eddie has had enough! He leads them down the stairs as they flee, with teachers in close pursuit. As they close in, Eddie calls out a loud, cheery “Good morning”—and stops his pursuers flat. Eddie is off. He runs the whole way home and straight to bed!
A Pirate's Guide to Recess by James Preller It’s time for recess, and the schoolyard is teeming with young pirates ready for action. Who will rule the stormy seas of the playground? Recess has never been such an adventure!
Pocket Rocks by Sheree Fitch No matter how hard he tries, Ian Goobie can't do the things that the other children in his class can do. Then he finds a rock, a rock that fits perfectly into his pocket, a rock that touches all his senses and whisks him away into a whole other world. From then on, as long as he has a rock in his pocket, Ian Goobie can begin to cope with his daily challenges. That is until he stuffs so many rocks in his pockets that his pants fall down right outside in the schoolyard.
The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School by Deborah Diesen Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math—until he’s reassured that school is the perfect place to learn how to master all of these new skills, in this new Pout-Pout Fish book from Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna.
Razia's Ray of Hope by Elizabeth Suneby Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven't been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls' school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community. Razia's Ray of Hope is the latest inspiring story from the?CitizenKid collection. It is based on the true stories of the?students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside?of Kabul, founded by a generous and resourceful woman named?Razia Jan, a CNN hero, who also appears in the story.
School Days by B.G. Hennessy Rhyming, easy-to-read text and colourful illustrations by Tracey Campbell Pearson, describe a day in the life of an elementary classroom, with a little mystery (a cat) to read just in the illustrations.
The Secret Science Project that Ate the School by Judy Sierra The science fair is coming and one 3rd grader is without a project. her friends all the fabulous works in the making, but Miss Fidget is quite perturbed that she doesn't have an idea. She looks on the internet and finds "Professor Swami's Super Slime" and her project is on its way...its way to gobbling up everything in sight, until it finds the one thing, the only thing, that will tame it!
The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague Wendell and Floyd can't seem to get to school on time. Wendell discovers a shortcut so secret that only he knows about it. Soon both boys are lost in a wild jungle full of quicksand, monkeys, and crocodiles! Who would have thought that getting to school could be such an adventure?
Stanley at School by Linda Bailey Stanley knows school is for kids, not dogs. But every day he grows more and more curious. What did the kids do in that school all day? Stanley rounds up his pals from the dog park to take a closer look. Will they find the answers they're looking for? One thing is for certain: School + Stanley = TROUBLE!
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits Kyle is dreading his first trip aboard the school bus. Luckily, his big brother, James, is a school bus expert. James gives Kyle ten rules for riding the bus that he absolutely, positively must obey if he wants to avoid getting laughed at or yelled at, pushed around, or even pounded. During his fateful ride, Kyle grapples with each unbreakable rule. Along the way, he discovers that the school bus isn’t so bad, and he may even have a thing or two to teach his brother.
Testing Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler With clever and funny illustrations by Kevin O'Malley, Testing Miss Malarkey explores, through students' eyes, the atmosphere of anxiety around the school before a bit test. Even the cafeteria lady, Ms. Slopdown and the gym teacher, Fitanuff get into it. This book is often recommended to be read to older students to help relieve test anxiety.
Too Many Chickens by Paulette Bourgeois When a farmer brings Mrs. Kerr's class a dozen eggs to incubate, the class project quickly goes awry. In no time at all, Mrs. Kerr's classroom has become a farmyard and the situation is spiraling out of control. It all starts when the farmer forgets to come back to get the newly hatched chicks. Before the class can say cluck, the chicks have turned into chickens and are roosting on the science table and chattering away all day long. When the farmer finally does return, the classroom is overrun with chickens. "These chickens look so happy," she says. "I can't bear to take them away. And here's a little present for all you've done." "Bunnies," says Mrs. Kerr. "How cute." From chicks to bunnies to an old nanny goat, Mrs. Kerr's class must take drastic measures to prevent total bedlam. Will her class ever be the same?
The Very Inappropriate Word by Jim Tobin Michael loves interesting words (hard words like ELASTIC, little words like VAST, and big words like SMITHEREENS) and is always on the lookout for words to collect. Then one day, he picks up a new word. A bad word. An inappropriate word. At least, that’s what his friend says. But Michael kind of likes the word. He thinks he might try it out...At school...Bad idea.
The Way to School by Rosemary McCarney Minimal text and stunning photographs from around the world describe the remarkable, often dangerous journeys children make every day on their way to and from school. No simple school bus picks them up each day, but rather children travel through disaster zones, cross rapids, climb mountains, and maneuver on ziplines daily to get to the classroom. Some of them even carry their desks! In this picture book for young readers, every image and spread speaks to the desire for an education and the physical commitment the children make each day as they journey to school.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start.And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you. Henkes is realistic and gentle, reassuring without being dismissive.
What a Day It Was at School! by Jack Prelutsky Through 16 silly poems, Prelutsky shares his hilarious views and the triumphs everyone has experienced at school, from science projects gone awry to fields trips and dreaded fractions. Full color.
What Teachers Can't Do by Douglas Wood There are lots of things that regular people can do, but teachers can't. Teachers can't ride a bike or scooter to school. And they can never be tardy. Teachers can't buy their own apples. And they can't teach their best without flowers on their desk. But first they really need some help cleaning the blackboard. And the erasers! It's a wonder they come back to school at all!
These books can be found in the Swan Hills School Library. For further titles, have a look at the following documents, which were used for many of the following recommendations, noted by number:
A list of the books featured on this page can be found here. You will be prompted to make your own copy of this Google Sheet, so that we don't all make notes on the same document.
"This is a great read-aloud book that will engage students and prompt much discussion about their own cultures, whether they are FNMI or non-FNMI. The letters of the alphabet are presented in the context of cultural items, cultural practices and some necessities of life. Many of the FNMI students will recognize some of the items and practices. Some of them may willingly talk about these items in their home and community cultural contexts. It could be used as an extension of Social Studies lessons in K-Grade 2 classrooms at least." (2)
"This book contains three stories about an Inuit girl named Agatha. The stories are fictional but based on fact. The first story takes place in the summer of 1958 when the ugly black thing arrives (helium filled airship) in Repulse Bay. The second story is about Agatha's relationship with a raven. The third story is about Agatha being taken out of her community to attend a Catholic school. The prologue and analogue provide the factual background for this book. The analogue also contains a dictionary of Inuit words used in the story. There are full-page illustrations for each page of print. The pictures are vivid and both the illustrations and the story portray of what life was like in the Northwest Territories through the eyes of a young girl. These stories are very positive and uplifting stories of the Inuit in the recent past." (1)
"This is a wonderful, humourous story of a little boy named Arvaarluk who lived in Repulse Bay. The story takes place during the Christmas of 1955. It tells about how the people at Repulse Bay had never seen trees and when they received six at Christmas time, they carved baseball bats from them." (1)
Spring has come to the Ute village, but Short Tail and his people are concerned because the Great Bear has not awakened. So Short Tail goes into the mountains to find the bear's den. But on the way, Short Tail too falls asleep, and slips into a magical dream in which the Great Bear teaches him a wonderful secret to take back to his people. Beautifully Illustrated.
Omakayas, a spirited seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter 1847, when a historically documented outbreak of smallpox overtook the island in Lake Superior where they lived.The sole survivor of a smallpox epidemic on Spirit Island, Omakayas, then only a baby girl, was rescued by a fearless woman named. Readers will be riveted by the daily life of this Native American family, in which tanning moose hides, picking berries, and scaring crows from the cornfield are as commonplace as encounters with bear cubs and fireside ghost stories. The author, Louise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwa, spoke to Ojibwa elders about the spirit and significance of Madeline Island, read letters from travelers, and even spent time with her own children on the island, observing their reactions to woods, stones, crayfish, bear, and deer. The author's softly hewn pencil drawings infuse life and authenticity to her poetic, exquisitely wrought narrative. Omakayas is an intense, strong, likable character to whom young readers will fully relate--from her mixed emotions about her siblings, to her discovery of her unique talents, to her devotion to her pet crow Andeg, to her budding understanding of death, life, and her role in the natural world. Novel - use as classroom read-aloud. (1)
"Reinforces Diversity...This picture book tells the legend of the relationship between the people and the Buffalo Nation. A young hunter marries a buffalo in the form of a beautiful woman. They go to live with his people. When his people reject her she goes back to her Buffalo Nation. The hunter's love for her causes him to follow her and he must pass several tests before being allowed to join the Buffalo Nation. In Paul Goble's introduction tot he story he tells the reader about the background to the legend." (1)
"Although this book has minimal text, it will appeal to children in elementary school because it features a writing project by students who worked collaboratively with elders and local advisors. Over 400 students provided text and illustration suggestions for profiling the past and present activities of the Dene. The student illustrations are colorful and the information is accurate and culturally correct. Supplementary information about the Dene way of life is provided in a reference section. This book has been recognized as a Canadian Children's Book Centre "Our Choice" selection and could be used as a model for creating and publishing a classroom book. The Dene culture is represented in an accurate and culturally sensitive manner. Life activities from past and present are shown as they occur throughout the seasons . Readers are skillfully introduced to the life of the Dene through student illustrations accompanying the story. The geography of the land, seasonal activities, food, and other aspects of daily life are clearly depicted through colorful drawings and easy-to-read text presented in both English and Dene." (1)
"A picture book with the colourful, distinctive illustrations of Ted Harrison - bold and bright. The colourful scenes of the Yukon all include children playing on
snowshoes, on dogsleds, with parents, in their summer and winter homes at everyday life. Included with each set of pictures is a text describing the life of
the Natives in the Yukon."
As Native elders have advised from time immemorial, this is a gentle plea to respect the natural environment...A plea to respect the natural treasures of our environment and a message of concern from aboriginal leaders of the past to the people of the new millennium, The Elder Are Watching has both a timelessness and an urgency that must be heard.
An Ojibway child is unclear about the mysterious purpose of her grandmother's night visit to Smooth Rock Island. As she watches and finally joins in the old woman's ceremonial dance, a powerful link with her ancestors is made.
After showing the kids how to prepare for a fishing trip, Grandma and the kids enjoy a day of jigging in the ice for fish. Grandma shows them every step they need to know to complete a successful fishing trip, from what clothes to wear, to how to drill and clear holes in the ice, and to how to make a traditional Inuit jigging rod.
One winter afternoon, Joe and Cody went ice fishing with their papa, their mama, and Cody’s little black dog, Ootsie. It was the perfect day to fish. The sky was clear, and the sun made the snow sparkle like diamonds.Brothers Joe and Cody are spending a chilly winter afternoon ice fishing with their parents. Cody is helping Papa fish, while Mama and Joe doze in the sled. Suddenly the sled dogs sit up and sniff. A fox is across the lake, her fur as bright as flames. The sled dogs give chase, pulling Mama and Joe along on a wild ride. Written in both English, and Cree Maageesees Maskwameek Kaapit is a wonderful, lyrical story of celebration from award-winning author Tomson Highway, capturing a passing way of life for future generations. Illustrator Brian Deines has created an evocative masterpiece of shimmering oils depicting the beauty of northern Manitoba.
The author explores the connectiveness of all Arctic life with a beautifully illustrated picture book about how he feels a little girl, called Ukaliq, could represent the wisdom that made the Inuit rich partners in the the bounty that is the natural world. Ukaliq liked to stack stones into friends wherever her family lived. One time when her father was out caribou hunting and she thought they were lost. She realized that maybe her stone friends could help them find their way home. Her brothers and sisters helped her position the arms of her stone people to show the way home and so that each one could be seen from the last one. Her father returned safely home along with a herd of caribou. Soon a name was given to the stone people - Inukshuk or, in the image of man. They continue to be an important part of Inuit life and culture." (1)
In this lyrical coming-of-age story, Governor General's Award-winner Rudy Wiebe captures the anxiety of a boy who feels powerless to help his people, but who must speak his dreams if they are to survive. Steeped in aboriginal myth and lore, "Hidden Buffalo" is also the tale of how a whole tribe can turn its gaze from the horizon to see to the wisdom of a child.
Original paintings by noted Cree artist Michael Lonechild capture the colorful palette of the prairie landscape in autumn and the rich detail of Cree life in the late nineteenth century.
"This is one of a number of wonderfully-illustrated books combining the talents of Michael Kusugak and Vladyana Krykorka. It is the story of a little Inuit girl who learns about the nasty little Ijiraq who will hide you during a game of hide and seek. The trouble is that he will hide you so well that you will never be found. The only thing that will help you find your way home is an Inukshuk. Includes information about the Ijiraq and Inukshuks." Children love to repeat the Ijiraq's chant. (1)
"During the course of three hundred years, many people have passed by or lived on the spot now occupied by a house numbered 107 Maple Street. The story shows the changes over the years - from animals passing by, Aboriginal people staying for a while, settlers arriving, a farm developing, a town growing, and finally, a modern community developing. Very useful for the Time, Continuity and Change strand of the new social studies. Well done, with very lovely illustrations. Shows an unidentified Aboriginal group setting up their teepees by a stream and staying for the whole summer before they pack up to follow the buffalo herds. The representation is positive - shows parents helping children, people preparing food and animal skins, and many other activities of daily living. It just doesn't identify the people - the story is quite general, and is focused on the change over time (300 years) that has occurred in this one place. Lots of details are provided in the illustrations so that there is lots of available information, but the group is not identified. There is enough detail to easily distinguish this group from others." (1)
"While this is a story of a young woman's love for her grandfather and her people, it is also a story of a young woman's special bond with a horse given to her by her grandfather. When Breeze's grandfather dies, she is so sad that she rejects Tiana, the horse. Because of sickness and the people in the tribe who died of it, Breeze is one of the people sent to find other tribes who could
accept or "adopt" people of Breeze's tribe. In this process, Breeze is united with Tiana. In a storm, Breeze covers Tiana with her late grandfather's buffalo robe. When Breeze touches the robe to take it off the horse, the colour of the robe "melts" and the horse we know as a pinto is created. The book thus tells a folk story about the creation of the pinto as well as a story of love, determination and respect. The story never names a particular tribal group or geographical area, thus it seems to present Aboriginal peoples on a pan-Indian basis, a characteristic that troubles most Aboriginal and even non-Aboriginal reviewers. However, the biographical information on the author suggests that the tribe represented is a tribe with the Treaty 7 area, most probably Blackfoot. In turn, when one examines the history of the Blackfoot, acquisition of the horse is noted as an important aspect that helped shape and define Blackfoot
history in Alberta. A teacher could use this storybook both in science as well as the old and new social studies curricula.The language clearly identifies the story to be at the Division II at an independent reading level. It can be used in Division I as a teacher led reading resource." (1)
The Native peoples of North America told many stories to explain the world around them. One of the loveliest is the Abenaki legend of how both fire and corn came into the world. It is retold here in unusally evocative paintings by a female Mohawk artist of exceptional talent.
"Traditional Canadian Christmas carol with beautiful illustrations. Includes the music for the carol and four verses in English, two in French, and one in the old Huron language." Reinforces diversity by showing "rich details of traditional Huron culture." (1)
A caring chief was planning to have a special totem pole carved because he knew he would die soon and wanted to leave a lasting legacy for his friends through the images on the pole. After asking for guidance from his wild cousins, several animals appear at his home offering special gifts to influence the final decision.
Presented in the form of an acrostic, I is for Inuksuk highlights the traditional way of life of Inuit people. Each letter of the word "Inuksuk" is represented by another Inuktitut word — I is for Inuksuk, N is for Nanuq, U is for Umiak, and so forth. Dazzling full-spread illustrations begin each section, and opposite the first page, the words are written in Inuktitut symbols. Readers then learn more about each Inuktitut word and how it represents the people and natural environment from which it comes. Throughout the book, small vignettes showcase Wallace’s love and knowledge of the Arctic landscape, its people, and its culture.
"This reference book (up to date) deals with the Inuit social life and customs with historical references. This book includes full-page watercolours as well as
actual photographs. It includes instructions on assembling an Inuksuk and a guide to Inuit words, as well as photos, text and drawings of Inuit life and
customs. Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award. Includes directions for building an Inunngerao and index. This book realistically depicts the Inuit's creative, cultural and spiritual way of life."
The giant trees are falling, victims to arrogance and greed, but is anyone listening? Young Jen is and she and her friends learn they can make a difference.
"Interesting facts and figures about the far North are presented, including information on the Arctic landscape, plant and animal life, ancient peoples, history, Arctic explorers, whalers and traders, fragile ecosystems, and the everyday life today of Arctic peoples. Accessible and appealing format - lots of pictures and small text boxes. Full of drawings, photos, and diagrams that provide facts, stories, legends, timelines and maps. The Far North is a region shared by Canada, the U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Greenland, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Finland. It appears to be a bleak, desolate place, but this intriguing book shows that it is much more. This book offers descriptions of the northern areas of the world, the people, their ways of life (then and now), animals, plants, landscape, climate, resources, and history. Each topic covers a two-page spread. Indexed." (1)
In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy's emerging confidence in facing his blindness.
"This story of a little girl visiting her grandmother in a beautiful, mountainous northern area of the continent, is illustrated by Colleen Woods' beautiful watercolours. The story line develops until the little girl understands that all the land is their "garden" and her grandmother helps her to learn that Mother Earth relies on her people to take care of the garden according to its seasonal needs. Diversity of aboriginal culture is not the substance of this story, however its focus is on the aboriginal connection to the environment and the respectful relationship of the People and their land." (1)
"Describes the Native nations that have lived for thousands of years in the northernmost part of present-day North America, where the frigid climate impacts every aspect of daily life for such groups as the Init, Yupik, and Inupiat. Includes table of contents, headings, subheadings, diagrams, glossary, index, and great photographs, so the information is very accessible. Each page is a new topic, and there are lots of little special interest boxes. Does not use the term "Eskimo." Provides a great deal of information about the Inuit, with lots of details about their art, food getting, clothing, recreation, etc. Not only provides a great deal of information about the Inuit, but compares groups from different geographical areas, and also sometimes compares Inuit with other peoples. Often shows traditional ways as well as the ways of the Inuit today." (1)
Little Metis is bored and only wishes to help his family with their daily chores in the bush. When a mischievous spirit tries to make trouble, Little Metis finds he helps them much more than he knows.
A great hunter, Little Water has a special gift – he can communicate with the animals of the forest, who respect him. One day, when Little Water returns from the hunt, he finds his village silent. Everyone is very sick, and the medicine man cannot cure them. He instructs Little Water to seek help from the animals. But Little Water is caught in a terrible storm and injured. The animals come to his help and give him knowledge of their healing powers. With their help, Little Water is able to save the villagers, who never forget the gift from the forest animals.
"This picture book was written and illustrated by the students of Whale Cove Inuglak School in Nunavut. It received the Scholastic Book Fair's 1998-1999 Create-a-Book Award. It is the story of an Inukshuk all alone on a hill who is very sad and lonely. One day he finds out how important he is to the community and doesn't feel lonely or sad anymore. There are a number of additions that make this book special. 1. The Inuktituk translation on each page. 2. A glossary of Inuktituk words with phonetic pronunciation. 3. Picture of the class. 4. Map of Canada, pointing out Whale Cove and Nunavut. 5. A note about Nunavut. The collaboration between the students and teachers in Whale Cove to create this Inuktituk story is a positive representation of the Aboriginal culture." (1)
Winner of the Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award, 2006 Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival and Book Awards. Kayâs is a young Cree man who is blessed with a Gift that makes him a talented hunter. He knows the ways of the Beings he hunts and can even talk with them in their own languages. But when he becomes proud and takes his abilities for granted, he loses his gift, and the People grow hungry. With the help of the Elders and the Beings that inhabit the water, Kayâs learns that in order to live a life of success, fulfillment and peace, he must cherish and respect the talents and skills he has been given. Illustrated with Dale Auger's powerful, insightful paintings, Mwâkwa Talks to the Loon introduces readers to the basics of life in a Cree village. A glossary with pronunciation guide to the many Cree words and phrases used in the story is included.
"This is a delightful story of a child testing her mother's unconditional love. Her mother is very reassuring and proves that a parent's love is everlasting. The story itself is global, it's the Arctic setting that sets it apart. The book includes a detailed glossary that describes to children the distinctively different Inuit culture. Beautifully detailed paintings of Inuit life showing traditional culture with some modern characteristics, such as cotton dresses, as well. Provides many details about Inuit lifestyle." (1)
"This resource could be used as a writing prompt and as an opportunity for students and their parents to consider. Lastly, the resource could be used as a resource for a major project. "The Meaning of Respect" could be used successfully at various points from K-12. The book captures the substance of
what respect can mean." (1)
"This beautiful picture book uses the a northern community as the background for basic counting from one to ten. After the number ten there are pages to illustrate the numbers 20, 100, and 1 000 000. There is a focus on the Inuit community, language and wildlife. At the end of the book is a glossary, and information about the arctic, its wildlife and climate." (1)
When her Kokum (grandmother) calls from the reserve, a young native girl living in the city knows she can expect a special experience. This time it's a dance. She learns that women, especially grandmothers, are the ties that hold together the many native families dispersd in rural and urban communities.
"This book talks about Metis People and how nicknames are a part of their culture. A teacher could use this story as a prompt for students to consider themselves and what nicknames other family members might come up with." It reinforces diversity by making a clear distinction about "Little Boy's heritage and about his parents cultural background." It is "the story of a young boy who desperately wants a nickname. According to his culture, the nickname must reflect the nature of the person it is given to. The humorous tale tells of the young boys' search to find a nickname that matches his personality. A major caution though, is about the illustrator's use of exaggerated comic-book like images of Little Boy as he goes from person to perosn to get ideas for his nickname. Some young children might think that the comic illustrations are entertaining and nothing more. Others may not see the cartoon-like images as a problem. In the final analysis, the teacher will need to use his/her knowledge of his/her students in making the decision as to use the book or not." (1)
A boy collects objects from the wilderness to take back home. As his pouch fills with treasure, the boy hears behind him strange sounds that get louder and louder. He wonders if the dreaded Night Walker has come to snatch him, or has his imagination carried him too far.
"Written by a ten-year-old, this story uses an aboriginal context to re-tell Cinderella. The illustrations are colorful watercolors, but the characters' facial features reflect a somewhat amateurish style, making the book look as if it had been illustrated by someone as young as its author. The main character rejects the modern life of her family and chooses to live apart from them, learning and practicing the traditional ways with her grandfather. Central character chooses the traditional life on the land, showing respect for her elders. Contrasts the "modern" sisters who choose to live in the town with the traditional girl who shuns it. Tends to put down the modern lifestyle." (1)
"An alphabet puzzle book dedicated to the children north of the 60th parallel. The author recommends readers use the book to stimulate conversation and
creative activities while they develop an awareness of the land and people of the north. His characters represent a mixture of cultures in today's northern
communities. Harrison's bold use of colour and stylized drawings have won him international recognition. Shows many peoples of the north engaging in family and lifestyle activities in their own unique ways. Provides many details about the specific lifestyle and customs of the many peoples of the north." (1)
"This beautifully-illustrated story tells the Inuit beliefs about the Northern Lights through the eyes of a young girl." This story, written by an Inuit author, explores the Inuit belief that the Northern Lights are the souls of the dead, playing soccer in the sky.
Based on a pan-Arctic Inuit traditional story, this book continues the familiar trope of the friendly giant, while featuring some uniquely Arctic elements and scenery. Inukpak was big, even for a giant. He loved to walk across the tundra, striding over the widest rivers and wading through the deepest lakes. He could walk across the Arctic in just a few days. But being so big, and traveling so far, Inukpak was often alone. Until one day when he came across a little hunter on the tundra. Thinking that the hunter was a little boy alone on the land, Inukpak decided to adopt him. And so, from the shoulder of one of the biggest giants to ever roam the Arctic, this hunter experiences Inukpak's world.
"Author, Maxine Trottier, dedicates this picture book to every child in Canada. One to ten are more than just numbers in this beautifully illustrated celebration of the diversity of Canada, its land and its rich resources. With each number visiting a chapter in Canada's history, this book is a spectacular rejoicing in our heritage and people. The endnotes referencing number six provide children with valuable information on Aboriginal cultures living in Canada. This book might inspire children to create their own class book depicting Canada from one to ten. Traditional dress, homes, symbols, and spiritual connections are represented in one central illustration within this picture
book. Men, women, children, and elders are all visible. A diverse group of Aboriginal cultures are depicted and then later described in the endnotes. The description of the illustration makes visible that there are more than 600 bands of First People living in Canada with more than 50 languages spoken." (1)
"A story of the Inuit and their never-ending search for food, and the search for a home by two children who are orphaned and subsequently become lost. Beautiful illustrations. Useful in the new social studies grade 2. Shows some of the ways in which Inuit people live and survive the harsh climate. The details provided about culture, customs, food, and shelter relate to the particular circumstances of the far north." (1)
This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers. The language of the Métis, Michif is a combination of French and Cree with a trace of other regional languages. Once spoken by thousands of people across the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, Michif is now so little spoken that it might disappear within a generation. This alphabet book is part of a resurgence to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the Métis people. Here Michif and English words combine with images from Métis culture to introduce all generations to the unique Michif language. The book even includes a brief introduction to the language's history, a pronunciation guide, and a list of references for those interested in learning more about Michif.
Leslie is new to the Arctic, and no one told her there would be so much snow, and so many interesting animals to see. Along with her new friend, Oolipika, Leslie soon discovers one of the Arctic’s most unique and breathtaking natural wonders, the northern lights. Having never seen such lights before, Leslie is understandably shocked by them. Oolipika, on the other hand, knows that the ancient lights are more than just colors and that the mischievous, playful spirits that the northern lights hold can be dangerous. This contemporary narrative introduces young readers to an Inuit legend about the northern lights, followed by an epilogue that explains the science behind this amazing phenomenon.
"This book could be used to prompt discussion about traditions and pride in traditions. The story focuses on Peter Cardinal, a young boy who is afraid that his classmates will laugh at his moccasins. Peter learns his moccasins are nothing to be ashamed of. Peter realizes that he should be proud of them." (1)
In the great frozen expanse of the high Arctic, Pani, a young Inuit girl, longs to be a great hunter of polar bears like her parents before her. But first, says Pani's grandmother, she must become a great fisher. The next day at the fishing hole, Pani hooks her first fish. In honor of her accomplishment her grandmother presents her with a special ivory fishing lure that once belonged to Pani's mother. Proud of her lure, Pani tells her friends that it is magic and someday she will be a great hunter. But they mock her, insisting that only men can become great hunters. Hurt by their jeers, Pani puts her hands over her ears and runs and runs. Before she knows it she is far out on the polar ice, where she encounters the pale shape of a wounded polar bear cub. Now she must decide whether to hunt or help."It's all right, Nanook," she says to the weakened cub. "I will take care of you. "Inspired by a traditional Inuit legend, The Polar Bear's Gift is about the compassion and resourcefulness of a young girl with ambitious dreams. It is Pani's trial and her triumph to discover that what makes a great hunter is not necessarily a straight aim. It is the lure of the heart on the cold arctic ice.
"Allashua disobeys her parents and goes to the frozen ocean to fish. The Qallupilluit, troll-like creatures who live under the ice, make Allashua promise to bring her brother and sisters to them in return for her release. Allashua's parents come up with a plan to save their children and yet allow Allashua to keep her promise. A real family with real problems and real relationships. Beautifully illustrated, this morality tale is a collaboration between Michael Kusugak of Hudson's Bay and Robert Munsch, the well-known Canadian non-Aboriginal author of many children's books." (1)
"A heart warming story of how a young boy learns to look beyond outward
appearances and discover the kindness and love of his neighbour Mary. As they get to know each other, Mary teaches the boy many things. At Christmas the boy presents Mary with a gift of a warm red parka and Mary gives the boy the biggest and best gift of all- the gift of her love. Colourful, lifelike illustrations help tell this gentle story." (2)
All Inuit know about the qalupaliit, strange creatures that live under the sea ice and carry away unsuspecting children on their backs. But when one bright young orphan strays too close to the ice, he soon learns that while qalupaliit may be very scary, they are also easily tricked. The Qalupalik is a beautifully illustrated children’s book based on the work of a celebrated contemporary Inuit storyteller.
"This story is set at the turn of the last century near Fort William. In it, a young Metis boy and his family help to prepare a feast in celebration of the "rendezvous", or, the return of the voyageurs. Vivid and historically accurate illustrations give an authentic picture of life at this busy Fur trading post." (2)
"A scarred face does not prevent the Rough-Face girl from seeing the beauty of the earth around her, nor does it disguise her beautiful, kind heart in this award-winning retelling of an Algonquin Cinderella. Shows details of life of the Algonquin on the shores of Lake Ontario in this Aboriginal version of Cinderella. Shows a different version of Cinderella that is in tune with the culture of the Algonquin." (1)
When the buffalo herds fail to appear one spring, a village in the Black Hills of South Dakota finds itself in turmoil: the people grow selfish and the elders lose their authority. But a beautiful woman comes, bearing a message. Only if the people learn to cooperate in the building of a great tipi, will she return with the first peace pipe and the rules of how it must be offered to the earth. Her message delivered, she returns to the hills and is transformed into a white buffalo, which in turn becomes a grazing herd
In just four days young Shi-shi-etko will have to leave her family and all that she knows to attend residential school. She spends her last days at home treasuring the beauty of her world -- the dancing sunlight, the tall grass, each shiny rock, the tadpoles in the creek, her grandfather's paddle song. Her mother, father and grandmother, each in turn, share valuable teachings that they want her to remember. And so Shi-shi-etko carefully gathers her memories for safekeeping. Richly hued illustrations complement this gently moving and poetic account of a child who finds solace all around her, even though she is on the verge of great loss -- a loss that native people have endured for generations because of the residential schools system.
When they arrive at school, Shi-shi-etko reminds Shinchi, her six-year-old brother, that they can only use their English names and that they can't speak to each other. For Shinchi, life becomes an endless cycle of church mass, school, and work, punctuated by skimpy meals. He finds solace at the river, clutching a tiny cedar canoe, a gift from his father, and dreaming of the day when the salmon return to the river — a sign that it’s almost time to return home. This poignant story about a devastating chapter in First Nations history is told at a child’s level of understanding.
"Here is a story about how the first horse came to the Piegan people. It is told by an old warrior as he sits in the tipi recalling how it happened when he was a child and how he was the first Piegan to ride on a "sky dog." Based on several folktales." This book "Shows how the Piegan people react to fear and how they show bravery. Shows their culture and customs in a positive way." It reinforces diversity by giving "many details about the Piegan lifestyle, culture and customs as the story unfolds." (1)
"Young students will relate to the characters through the beautiful illustrations and winter experiences. This is a modern story of two young Ojibwa sisters as they set off across the frozen north country and treasure the stillness of the winter evening walk. The story is not only about the relationship between the 2 sisters, but also about their encounter with rabbit, deer and coyote. Most importantly, the story is about their experience of the northern lights - their sky sisters." (1)
"This book would be an excellent resource when teaching the new grade 2 Social Studies curriculum as it focuses on life in Baffin Island and is presented in a story format that young students will be able to relate to. It is also a tale of how when two cultures meet, one can inform and improve the other. This is a colourful picture book with an engaging storyline. Students will learn about life in Iqaluit and some of the similarities and differences between Inuit and non-Inuit children. This is a story set in the far north. It depicts two little girls, one from Inuit culture living in Iqaluit. These two friends are caught in an Arctic snowstorm and one learns from the other about how to survive in the north. Subsumed in the depiction of Arctic culture is information about the difference between a working sled dog and a pet and how two cultures view the place of dogs. The story focuses on life in the Arctic and will engage young readers from any culture.
"In this historical story, possibly based on some truth, a young man sets out from central Europe in 1893 to walk across Russia, through Siberia and on to the new world. His is rescued in the Yukon by Aboriginal people who teach him how to survive in the north, and he in turn tries to protect them from the invading people of the Klondike gold rush. Illustrations are rich in cultural and historical detail. Shows how Aboriginals lived in harmony with the environment and how it supplied all their needs. Caution: the book uses the term "Eskimo," as it was the term the "historical traveler" in the story would have known and used. In Canada, we tend to avoid the use of the term "Eskimo" in favour of the term "Inuit." Teachers who use this book should qualify the use of the term." (1)
"Here's a classic Munsch story, full of silliness and sure to be a hit. Tina loves her brand new socks so much, she's never, ever going to take them off, but when her wonderful socks get smelly, her friends have to take action. Set in northern or central Canada, we can see that Tina lives in an Dene Community and that she and her family are Aboriginal. We also see that Tina is a "regular kid," just like any other kid. Shows an Aboriginal girl living and behaving just like any other zany kid from a Munsch story. Provides details in the illustrations that suggest the intermingling of traditional and modern lifestyles." Reinfoces diversity by suggesting "through the illustrations, that the lifestyle is definitely one suited to northern and central Canada." (1)
"This picture book tells the humorous tale of the trickster Iktomi. It tells of Iktomi's efforts while hunting. The story becomes even more entertaining when Iktomi attempts to pick buffalo berries. Iktomi's thoughts are printed in small type and passages printed in gray encourage the reader and listeners to remark on Iktomi's actions." (1)
"This book is about Susan and her dog Uviluq and their adventures in the snow during a spring blizzard. Other than the name of the dog and beingpubli shed in Yellowknife, there is no link to the Inuit. However, this book can be used as a read aloud or in a class library. The illustrations can be used in art as curricular integration for the grade two social studies unit on the Inuit." (2)
Blackfoot legend: Star Boy was the son of Morning Star and an earthly bride. He was banished from the Sky World for this mother's disobedience and bore a mysterious scar on his face, the symbol of the Sun's disapproval.
As Star Boy grew, he came to love the chief's daughter, and it was she who helped him find the courage to journey to the Sky World and make peace with the Sun. The Sun not only lifted the scar but sent Star Boy back to the world with the sacred knowledge of the Sun Dance, a ceremony of thanks for the Creator's blessing.
"A young Aboriginal girl receives a pair of black patent leather shoes as a gift from her mother. She excitedly visits her grandmother to show off her new shoes. At grandma's she receives a second pair of shoes "beautifully beaded moccasins" along with the wise grandmotherly advice about remembering when and how to wear each pair of shoes. Can be used at the grade 3 level to discuss how to live in two worlds, two cultures...A story of an Aboriginal girl who receives two pairs of shoes, one from each of her cultures. By using correct Cree terms in the story, Maggie's specific cultural ancestry is highlighted." (1)
"In search of mussels while the tide is out, an Inuit girl walks alone beneath the ice of the frozen ocean, knowing she will never do it-for the first time-again. Pointillist paintings in purple and yellow emphasize the beauty of her undersea adventure, the traditional Inuit practice of lowering themselves beneath the ice." (2)
Anna learns from her grandmother about the many worlds found in the yesterday stone. Now Anna wants to share these worlds with her friend Molly. But will Molly believe?
Click here for Young Adult
These books are all available in the SH School Library. Click on the covers to go to the Goodreads, Amazon or publisher site with descriptions and reviews. SHS teachers are reminded that other books are nearly always available through inter-library loan. Just Ask!
The books below are all available in the SH School Library. Click on the covers to go to the Goodreads, Amazon or publisher site with descriptions and reviews. SHS teachers are reminded that there is an Ireland display in the library that includes books borrowed from other libraries and the even more books are nearly always available through inter-library loan. Just Ask!
Check out the library display of books borrowed through the Yellowhead Regional Library and TracPac. We have them for the month!
These books are all available in the SH School Library. Click on the covers to go to the Goodreads, Amazon or publisher site with descriptions and reviews. SHS teachers are reminded that other books are nearly always available through inter-library loan. Just Ask!
These books are all available in the SH School Library. Click on the covers to go to the Goodreads, Amazon or publisher site with descriptions and reviews. SHS teachers are reminded that other books are nearly always available through inter-library loan. Just Ask!
Web Resources - Click on the screenshot...
Watch as the camera tracks an act of kindness as its passed from one individual to the next and manages to boomerang back to the person who set it into motion.
Find more Creative Commons images related to kindness, which download with accreditation as you see above, at Photos for Class
A few selected, generally themed books on Canada for February's country theme. Each cover image is linked to descriptions and reviews at Goodreads and other sites, where available. Our local call number is below the covers and of course there are many, many more in our library!
Library manager of rural K-12 school in Alberta, Canada