Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome

Owlkids. Mar. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771475150.
K-Gr 3–With a variety of Indigenous translators providing the correct tribal word for beaver (Amik is Anishinaabe, Amisk is Cree, Gopit is Mi’kmaq, Amicos is Algonquin, etc.), this story is about Amik and her little sister Nishiime, who are welcoming their beaver cousins from all over the country to visit. Nishiime is shy and disappears for most of the visit, but learns that although the cousins have different names, they are all just like her, and she cannot wait for their next visit. Cooper adds nature facts to this tidy family reunion, about beavers and the underwater canals they use, and how they use their tails to warn, plus the gifts of the clan: “Amisk brought some dried muskeg tea. Gopit brought a birch bark basket filled with wild strawberries...And Tsyennìto brought a small purple wampum shell that fits perfectly in Amik’s paw.” The illustrations provide joyful scenes of the beavers’ gathering, giving each one a personality and style.
VERDICT Crayon bright and full of small lessons of hospitality, vocabulary, and adventure, this sweet story belongs on family shelves as well as among Indigenous collections.

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