Nibi’s Water Song

Lee & Low. Oct. 2021. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781643794822.
K-Gr 2–Nibi is a thirsty, thirsty girl, so thirsty her mouth is clucking, thus begins her search for clean water. The water from her tap is brown, the water in the river is dirty, so Nibi goes to the next town with “...big, shiny houses.” One of the residents give her small amount of water, but when she needs more water, her pleas are ignored. She sings and dances asking for clean water and is joined by her friends. More and more people from different communities participate in her protest and they “showed all the rule-makers how to heal the water,” resulting in clean water for everyone. The story is similar to Carole Lindstrom’s We Are Water Protectors, but on a local level, as in The Water Lady by Alice B. McGinty. Brightly colored, crisp drawings depict Nibi accompanied by her dog on their search and protest for clean water, with woodland animals and flowers appearing as accents. A variety of people make up those who are protesting, representing different groups coming together. In the notes, both the author and illustrator discuss the lack of clean water on Canadian reservations.
VERDICT The compelling narrative with its accompanying illustrations explains the fight for clean water in simple and relatable terms, making this a great first purchase.

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