November is Native American Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to celebrating the cultures, traditions, histories, and contemporary contributions of Native American peoples. November is also Picture Book Month!
While these are great reads all year long, what better way to commemorate than by reading picture books about Native ways and contemporary culture with the young (or not so young!) people in your life.
Check out this list of picture book picks by Native American authors, available at the library.
“Still This Love Goes On” (2022); lyrics by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Julie Flett
From the Publisher: “A love letter to Indigenous communities everywhere, this picture book illustrated by Cree–Métis artist Julie Flett celebrates seasons, nature, and community. Based on Academy Award-winning Cree icon Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song of the same name, ‘Still This Love Goes On’ is a stunning celebration of Indigenous experience.”
“We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know” (2021) by Traci Sorell
From the Publisher: “Twelve Native American kids present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each with a powerful refrain: We are still here! Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the U.S. government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood.”
“The First Blade of Sweetgrass” (2021) by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey
From the Publisher: “Musquon must overcome her impatience while learning to distinguish sweetgrass from other salt marsh grasses, but slowly the spirit and peace of her surroundings speak to her, and she gathers sweetgrass as her ancestors have done for centuries, leaving the first blade she sees to grow for future generations. This sweet, authentic story from a Maliseet mother and her Passamaquoddy husband includes backmatter about traditional basket making and a Wabanaki glossary.”
“Berry Song” (2022) by Michaela Goade
From the Publisher: “Caldecott Medalist Michaela Goade’s first self-authored picture book is a gorgeous celebration of the land she knows well and the powerful wisdom of elders. On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries. Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all.
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