Children’s Books That Are Born From History and Culture 

Children’s Books That Are Born From History and Culture 

Posted By Paul G 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.

Kevin Noble Maillard of the Seminole Nation received the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal in 2020 for his children’s book, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story.

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.

Support your Native authors!

PowWows.com receives a commission from Amazon from purchases through the links above – thanks for supporting PowWows.com.

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Sandra Guelai

I would love to go to pow wows but for the safety of the dancers and the audience and to keep everyone from getting sick this covid 19 needs to go away. I love pow wows but i care more for the people in hopes no one gets sick from this wicked virus. I do look forward in going to pow wows in the future.

Cyndi Masey

There are some Conid 19 cases. I work at a Dr’s office and we have been blessed here in North Georgia.
I would very much love to visit a powwow but of course want people to be safe and at peace so it can be the joyous and beautiful event I have memories of taking my mother to. The sounds and vibrations are amazing. It would be a blessing to go with my adult son. He broke from me at 2 and joined in the circle of danced who took his hand with warm smiles. The drums just took him he said. Memories I cherish.

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