The Bracebridge Library has many great children’s books written by Indigenous authors. These books are beautifully illustrated and include important teachings about caring for our environment and each other. Some feature retellings of traditional tales, while others are stories about modern day children and their experiences. These books invite us to honour and celebrate the beauty and importance of Indigenous culture in Canada. Happy reading!
My Powerful Hair
By Carole Lindstrom
Our ancestors say our hair is our memories,
our source of strength and power, a celebration of our lives. After generations of short hair in her family, a little girl celebrates growing her hair long to connect to her culture and honor the strength and resilience of those who came before her.
Just Like Grandma
by Kim Rogers
Becca loves spending time with Grandma. Every time Becca says, “Let me try,” Grandma shows her how to make something beautiful. Whether they are beading moccasins, dancing like the most beautiful butterflies, or practicing basketball together, Becca knows that, more than anything, she wants to be just like Grandma. And as the two share their favourite activities, Becca discovers something surprising about Grandma.
Hiawatha and the Peacemaker
By Robbie Robertson
Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, music legend Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with parents and children in a beautifully illustrated picture book retelling the story.
Phoenix Gets Greater
By Marty Wilson-Trudeau
Phoenix loves to play with dolls and marvel at pretty fabrics. Most of all, he loves to dance–ballet, Pow Wow dancing, or just swirling and twirling around his house. Sometimes Phoenix gets picked on and he struggles with feeling different, but his mom and brother are proud of him. With their help, Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is.
Be a Good Ancestor
By Leona Prince
Rooted in Indigenous teachings, this stunning picture book encourages readers of all ages to consider the ways in which they live in connection to the world around them and to think deeply about their behaviors.
Addressing environmental issues, animal welfare, self-esteem and self-respect, and the importance of community, the authors deliver a poignant and universal message in an accessible way: Be a good ancestor to the world around you. Thought-provoking stanzas offer a call to action for each one of us to consider how we affect future generations. Every decision we make ripples out, and we can affect the world around us by thinking deeply about those decisions.
Tapwe and the Magic Hat
By Buffy Sainte-Marie
From beloved Indigenous icon Buffy Sainte-Marie comes a chapter book inspired by oral histories and traditions. On a prairie reserve, Tâpwê receives a mysterious gift from Kokhom (grandma)–and finds himself on an unforgettable adventure.
Tâpwê can’t wait to spend a week with his cousins on the other side of the Cree reserve–especially since Kokhom, his grandma, has given him the most amazing gift: a Magic Hat with bluebirds and grass snakes that come to life! Tâpwê is so excited that he soon forgets Kokhom’s advice: Watch out for tricksters!
Lillian & Kokomis : the Spirit of Dance
By Lynda Partridge
Lillian & Kokomis is the second book in the UpRoute Indigenous Spirit of Nature Series. Lillian is a girl of mixed Indigenous and white ancestry who has been shuffled from foster home to foster home as long as she can remember. At school, she doesn’t feel like she fits in with the white kids and doesn’t fit in with the Indigenous kids either. She finds happiness and a sense of belonging from a surprising spirit that returns her to traditional ways.
By Danielle Daniel
Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.
But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives–and construction company–seem equally suspect.