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About the Author-
- Monique Gray Smith is a mixed–heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of twins. Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Monique and her family are blessed to live on Lkwungen territory in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.littledrum.com.
July 1, 2017
A simple recitation of the ways that people can be supportive of one another."This book was written in the spirit of reconciliation and is dedicated to the children, families and staff of Aboriginal Head Start programs." That is the dedication; at the end, there is a longer note about notorious Indian Residential schools, where, for over 150 years, indigenous children in Canada were humiliated and abused. In between, all the words and art offer a warm and positive message. Simple and pointed phrases are printed boldly on white or pastel backgrounds on half of each double-page spread, with stylized, bright, watercolor illustrations on each opposing page. Each brown- or tan-skinned face has cheeks with outlined, bright pink circles; other features are sweetly expressive lines of ink, sometimes including little hearts for mouths. Birds, flowers, and gaily patterned wallpapers add to a feeling of contentment and communal power. The image of an adult and two children, eyes closed, singing outside by moonlight and beating on drums, is especially strong, as is an illustration of two hugging children of different skin colors and hair types. The titular phrase "You hold me up," followed by simple words such as "when you listen to me," is used several times until the final pages, where it is replaced by "I hold you up" and "We hold each other up." A final, multigenerational picnic is lovely. Calming, positive, and serenely affirmative. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)
COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
November 1, 2017
PreS-Gr 2-This evocative picture book is a lovely meditation on kindness and respect. Simple declarative statements belie important cornerstones of humanity: "You hold me up when you comfort me"; "when you laugh with me"; "when you listen to me." Daniel's stylized watercolor paintings show children interacting in positive ways with peers, adults, and family members. Warm, gentle scenes include a rosy-cheeked boy sharing an apple with a younger friend, an elder and two children drumming and singing beneath a starry sky, and a little girl cradled in her mother's embrace. A strong sense of community runs through the poetic text and illustrations and is encapsulated in the final phrase, "We hold each other up." Dedicated to the "children, families and staff of Aboriginal Head Start programs," an author's endnote sheds light on the indignities and abuse suffered by generations of Indigenous Canadians. VERDICT Powerful and significant, this is a must-have addition to most collections. Perfect for one-on-one and small group sharing.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ont.
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
PublisherOrca Book Publishers
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