CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 7. . . .October 20, 2017
Nimoshom and His Bus.
Penny M. Thomas. Illustrated by Karen Hibbard.
Winnipeg, MB: Highwater Press/Portage & Main Press, 2017.
24 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.
Review by Anita Miettunen.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
Sometimes they would ask him to drive faster; he would always laugh and say: “Mots.” Mots means no.”
Written by Penny M. Thomas, who is of Cree-Ojibway background, and illustrated by Karen Hibbard, Nimoshom and His Bus perfectly captures the daily rhythms of an elderly school bus driver named Nimoshom, which in Cree means “my grandfather”. Through accessible language and engaging visual resources, readers are introduced to basic Cree as Nimoshom responds in this language to the children who ride his bus. Cree words are highlighted and repeated on each page in a bold red typeface, with the English definition following in a bold black font. This is an effective typographical choice that will help reinforce learning while readers enjoy the playful storyline.
Each spread is rendered in a soft palette of mostly yellow, blue, red, and brown watercolours that complement the text. The illustrator’s varying the visuals between full double spreads and single page illustrations keeps the pacing lively. Amidst a rural fall setting, with woodland animals, children, and the school bus, Nimoshom’s humorous nature shines through these gentle illustrations. At the end of this story, you just want to give Nimoshom a great big hug!
Included at the end is a list of all the Cree words introduced in the book. Although a helpful summary, this feature would have been enhanced by including a brief note explaining a few facts about the Cree language and a pronunciation guide. Nevertheless, Nimoshom and His Bus is a valuable addition for homes, libraries, and schools and can be enjoyed through story times, expanded language learning opportunities, and individual reading activities.
Anita Miettunen is a writer based in Vancouver, BC. She is completing a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia.
© CM Association
University of Manitoba
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