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Indigenous Picture Books for Kids

Updated: Oct 26

Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davison, Sarah Florence Davidson


Based on ancient Haida narratives, this vibrantly illustrated children's book empowers young people and teaches them to live in harmony with nature. Embedded in Haida culture and drawn from ancient oral narratives are a number of Supernatural Beings, many of them female, who embody these connections to the land, the sea, and the sky. Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii features ten of these ancient figures and presents them to children as visually engaging, empowering, and meaningful examples of living in balance with nature. Developed by renowned Haida activist, lawyer, performer, and artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson and Haida educator Sara Florence Davidson, this book challenges stereotypes, helps advance reconciliation, and celebrates Indigenous identity and culture.


Birdsong

Julie Flett


When Katherena and her mother move to a small town, Katherena feels lonely and out of place. But when she meets an elderly woman artist who lives next door, named Agnes––her world starts to change. As the seasons change the question becomes: can Katherena navigate the failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed Cree-Métis author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the joys of intergenerational relationships and shared passions.




Bear for Breakfast

Robert Munsch, Jay Odjick


It's breakfast time and Donovan knows exactly what he wants this morning! Not eggs, not pancakes, not cereal. No, what he wants is BEAR, just like his grandfather used to eat for breakfast! So Donovan sets off to bag a bear of his own, going on an adventurous hunt through the woods, where he stalks and is stalked by an ant, a squirrel, and a dog ― but they are not bears, so he shoos them away! When Donovan finally meets a real, big and growling bear, he quickly learns that sometimes breakfast tastes best when it doesn't have any teeth!

This story was inspired by Donovan, a first-grader in in La Loche, Saskatchewan, a Chippewan community in northern Saskatchewan that Robert Munsch visited in January, 1990. When Robert asked what the kids liked to eat, Donovan said that he liked to eat BEAR!



Wolverine and Little Thunder

Alan Syliboy


From the bestselling creator of The Thundermaker comes another adventure featuring Little Thunder and Wolverine—a trickster, who is strong and fierce and loyal. The two are best of friends, even though Wolverine can sometimes get them into trouble. Their favourite pastime is eel fishing, whether it’s cutting through winter ice with a stone axe or catching eels in traditional stone weirs in the summer. But that all changes one night, when they encounter the giant river eel—the eel that is too big to catch. The eel that hunts people!



The Walrus and the Caribou

Maika Harper


Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, this book shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus—and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived.



In My Anaana’s Amautik

Nadia Sammurtok


An Amautik is the pouch on the back of a Mother’s parka, used to carry a child. Experience everything through the eyes of the baby nestled inside, from the cloudlike softness of the pouch to the glistening sound of Anaana’s laughter in this beautiful story.



May We Have Enough to Share

Richard Van Camp


Award-winning author Richard Van Camp wrote this book to express his gratitude for all that surrounds him and his family. The strength of their connections, the nature that provides for them, the love that is endless. Complemented by photos from photographers who celebrate their own gratefulness on the collective blog Tea & Bannock, the simple verse in May We Have Enough to Share is the perfect way to start or end your little one's days in gratitude.



I Lost My Talk

Rita Joe, illustrated by Pauline Young


One of Rita Joe's most influential poems, I Lost My Talk, tells the revered Mi'kmaw Elder's childhood story of losing her language while a resident of the residential school in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. A companion book to the simultaneously published I'm Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas, I Lost My Talk is a necessary reminder of a dark chapter in Canada's history, a powerful reading experience, and an effective teaching tool for young readers of all cultures and backgrounds.

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