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Neekah’s knitting needles

2020

by Sylvia Olsen, Odelia Smith and Sheena Lott

"A lyrical celebration of the tradition of Cowichan knitting among the Coast Salish peoples and the joy of creating something with your hands. Neekah’s great grandma, Mumma, knit all her life. Her Grandma Dorothy knits, her mom knits and all her aunties knit. Even some of Neekah’s uncles knit, too. Every year she asks her mom if she can learn, and every year she hears, “Be patient. Your hands aren’t quite big enough yet.” At last Neekah is ready to learn, her head and heart bursting with the colorful designs she will create with the wool. She sits down with her mom, holding the wooden needles Grandpa Carl has made for her and the wool she chose from Auntie Joni’s shop. But knitting a toque for Grandma Dorothy is not as easy as she had imagined." -- publisher

Any Child

Salma the Syrian Chef

2020

by Danny Ramadan and Anna Bron

"Newcomer Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama. All Salma wants is to make her mama smile again. Between English classes, job interviews, and missing Papa back in Syria, Mama always seems busy or sad. A homemade Syrian meal might cheer her up, but Salma doesn’t know the recipe, or what to call the vegetables in English, or where to find the right spices! Luckily, the staff and other newcomers in her Welcome Home are happy to lend a hand—and a sprinkle of sumac. With creativity, determination, and charm, Salma brings her new friends together to show Mama that even though things aren’t perfect, there is cause for hope and celebration. Syrian culture is beautifully represented through the meal Salma prepares and Anna Bron’s vibrant illustrations, while the diverse cast of characters speaks to the power of cultivating community in challenging circumstances." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Cross Group

The Giant Bear

2020

by Jose Angutinngurniq and Eva Widermann

"Jose Angutinngurniq, a gifted storyteller and respected elder from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, brings to life a story of the great nanurluk that has been told in the Kugaaruk region for generations. One of the most terrifying creatures to be found in traditional Inuit stories is the nanurluk, a massive bear the size of an iceberg that lives under the sea ice. Its monstrous size and ice-covered fur make it an almost impenetrable foe. But when a lone hunter spots the breathing hole of the nanurluk on the sea ice near his iglu, he uses his quick thinking and excellent hunting skills to hatch a plan to outsmart the deadly bear. Jose Angutinngurniq, a gifted storyteller and respected elder from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, brings to life a story of the great nanurluk that has been told in the Kugaaruk region for generations." -- publisher

Folklore

The most amazing bird

2020

by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak and Andrew Qappik

"A young girl discovers nature’s surprising beauty in this tale from a renowned Inuk storyteller. When Aggataa goes for a cold winter walk with her grandmother, she’s surprised by a sudden CRAH! All the birds have flown south for the winter except one kind—the tulugarguat, the ravens. They’re the ugliest birds that Aggaataa has ever seen. They look like they slept in their coats—coats that don’t even fit! However, as the winter slowly moves towards spring, Aggataa connects with one small raven in particular. As the seasons change in full, the ravens leave and are replaced by seagulls, cranes, geese, ducks, and swans—all of them far more elegant than the “Ugly Bird.” But where Aggataa once thought the ravens odd for visiting during the harshest part of the year, she now finds herself watching the horizon, waiting for the return of the most amazing bird." -- publisher

Any Child

The Train

2020

by Jodie Callaghan and Georgia Lesley

"Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. When she sees his sadness, he tells her of the day when he and the other children were taken to residential school, their lives changed forever. Uncle also explains how Ashley gives him hope. She promises to wait with him in remembrance of what was lost. Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. Ashley sees his sadness, and Uncle tells her of the day years ago when he and the other children from their community were told to board the train before being taken to residential school where their lives were changed forever. They weren't allowed to speak Mi'gmaq and were punished if they did. There was no one to give them love and hugs and comfort. Uncle also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle by the train tracks, in remembrance of what was lost." -- publisher

Oppression & Resilience

Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White

2020

by Saumiya Balasubramaniam and Eva Campbell

"A child’s joy on a snowy day finally helps her mother feel at home in their new country and find the magic in new experiences. A little girl and her mother walk home from school on a snowy winter day. “So much snow,” says Ma. “So monochromatic.” “Mono crow what?” her daughter replies. Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of their faraway homeland, but her daughter sees magic in everything — the clouds in the winter sky, the “firework” display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all. This gently layered, beautifully illustrated story that unfolds as a conversation between a mother and daughter will resonate with readers young and old." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

When pumpkins fly

2020

by Margaret Lawrence and Amanda Sandland

"In a remote Arctic community, kids carve and light their first jack-o-lantern. But what will the spirits do with the pumpkin once it’s left alone? The air is cold, the nights are long, and Halloween is just around the corner. This is the time of year when pumpkins fly! In the remote, fly-in community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, the last cargo flight of October brings some strange orange guests for the children. Seeing a pumpkin for the first time, the local kids eagerly carve and light their first jack-o-lantern. But when everyone adjourns to the community hall for the Halloween dance, the pumpkin is left alone outside. The land around Sanikiluaq is home to many spirits who love to cause mischief, especially this time of year. But what would a land spirit do with a pumpkin? This adorable book gives young readers a window into how Halloween is celebrated in an Arctic Inuit community, incorporating contemporary celebrations and Inuit folklore." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Winged Wonders

2020

by Meg Pincus and Yas Imamura

"For decades, as the monarch butterflies swooped through every year like clockwork, people from Canada to the United States to Mexico wondered, "Where do they go?" In 1976 the world learned the answer: after migrating thousands of miles, the monarchs roost by the millions in an oyamel grove in Central Mexico's mountains. But who solved this mystery? Was it the scientist or the American adventurer? The citizen scientists or the teacher or his students? Winged Wonders shows that the mystery could only be solved when they all worked as a team--and reminds readers that there's another monarch mystery today, one that we all must work together to solve." -- publisher

Incidental Informational

A Girl Called Genghis Khan

2019

by Michelle Lord and Shehzil Malik

"Meet Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a Pakistani girl who loved sports and longed for the freedom that boys in her culture enjoyed. She joined a squash club to pursue her dream, and was taunted, teased, and beaten—but still continued playing. Then, when Maria received an award from the President of Pakistan for outstanding achievement, the Taliban threatened her squash club, her family, and her life. Although forced to quit the team, she refused to give up. Maria kept practicing the game in her bedroom every day for three years! Her hard work and perseverance in the face of overwhelming obstacles will inspire all children." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

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