February 12th, 2020 Last Updated on: February 12th, 2020
Children’s books are not only about fun and games. They are there to serve a purpose: to teach a lesson, to bring awareness, to educate, to help children not feel alone in the world, or to bring about a connection.
While some of these stories are purely fictional, there are many out there that are based in fact, in history, and are full of culture.
Two new authors who have intertwined fiction with their very own lives into two lovely children’s books are Kevin Noble Maillard and Cheryl Minnema.
Frybread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.
Frybread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.
Frybread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.
Frybread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.
In an interview with Kirkus Review, Kevin discusses how Fry Bread came about: “My oldest son was two years old, and I was having a hard time finding contemporary books about Native kids that weren’t about Thanksgiving or Pocahontas. Most were written by non-Natives, and all were about people that lived long ago, like some mythical vanished community.”
The illustrator of Fry Bread is Juana Martinez-Neal, who is a Caldecott Honor Winner.
Another children’s book author that is filled with a family story that once was, is Cheryl Minnema, a citizen of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She wrote Johnny’s Pheasant, which portrays the culture and family life through the lens of an intergenerational family.
Minnema was honored with the Charlotte Zolotow Award by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Her illustrator, Julie Flett, created simple and beautiful artwork to accompany the story.
With a ‘Hoot! Hoot! from both boy and bird, this perfectly paced narrative offers humor, wonder, warmth, and a child-centered sensibility,” the award committee said.
Both stories are heartwarming, humorous, and share Native culture with its readers.
You can learn more about the stories and purchase each on Amazon by clicking on the title of each book in this article.
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