CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 7. . . .October 20, 2017
NipÍhon = I Wait.
Caitlin Dale Nicholson with Leona Morin-Neilson.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2017.
24 pp., hardcover & pdf, $18.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55498-914-0 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-915-7 (pdf).
Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8.
Review by Harriet Zaidman.
Nohkom gets ready
I Wait is a thoughtful story that captures important teachable moments in a childís life, moments that impart knowledge, strengthen family bonds and build character. And it does all these things in only 34 English words!
Caitlin Dale Nicholson, from Prince George, BC, writes about a Nohkom (grandmother), a mother and a young granddaughter who head out into the countryside to gather yarrow for winter tea. Seemingly, there is little action, but on closer examination, thereís a problem. Nohkom is organized and gets busy right away, but the little girlís mother is not focussed on the task, rubbing the dogís tummy and blowing fluff from dandelions instead of gathering yarrow. Itís left for the reader to speculate if the mother has a personal issue or is just fun-loving. As must happen in childrenís writing, the little girl solves the problem. She reminds her mom to get to work, and the day ends happily.
The story includes a contemplative moment. While no religion is mentioned, each family member prays before they begin picking the flowers.
The text is written in Cree syllabics, transliterated Cree as well as English, giving young children the opportunity to become bilingual. I Wait is also beautifully illustrated and designed. Nicholson is the illustrator, painting the flower-filled meadows in soft hues of green and yellow acrylic and creating characters that are representative and appealing. Nicholson juxtaposes the modern world with the traditional at the beginning of the story, showing the family driving out to the country with a big trailer hitched to their truck. The large portrait-style paintings fill the pages, showing off the enormity of the outdoors.
I Wait will be a positive addition to family collections and to school collections, with adult guidance about family and traditions.
Harriet Zaidman is a retired teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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