Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Multicultural Books: CHILDREN OF THE TIPI

My friend Nancy Bo Flood writes wonderful multicultural books, and has a deep interest in Native American issues. I invited her to submit a guest post, and she chose to feature CHILDEN OF THE TIPI. Although we just missed the Multicultural Book Day on January 27th, it's never too late to celebrate the rich heritage of this country. Here's Nancy:


Edited by Michael Oren Fitzgerald

CHILDREN OF THE TIPI is a treasure.  The book shares both images and words that accomplish so well what Michael Fitzgerald describes in his Editor's Note - that we can "learn the wisdom of the olden-day Indians directly from the source...we can still glimpse the spirit of that irreplaceable world directly through their words and photographs."

Yes, in this book we have a unique opportunity – an exciting opportunity - to listen to the voices of Native American leaders, both men and women, and to see their images in authentic, archival photographs.  The creator of this book, Michael Fitzgerald, identifies himself as “editor.”  All the dialogue and descriptions – every word - are quotes from American Indian men and women born before 1904.  What an opportunity for children and adults to read observations, descriptions, and wisdom by the very people who spoke them.  I greatly appreciate Michael Fitzgerald’s goal to "show not tell." He chose topics of high interest to all children – the games played, story-telling, mud fights in the snow, daily camp life, making dolls out of corn cobs, sleds out of buffalo ribs, hunting, riding horses…. Fascinating and fun to read!  The quotes describe with surprising detail but they also allow the reader to become aware of underlying wisdom..."including the emphasis they [American Indians] placed on moral character and the sacred quality of virgin Nature." CHILDREN OF THE TIPI brings the reader full-circle to now, contemporary times, with photographs of today's Native children continuing the very traditions described in earlier pages.

During the past several years as I have written and spoken about the need for children's books about and by Native Americans. Less than 1% of published books for children are written by or about American Indians.  I have emphasized the need to show individuals, not stereotypes, and historical accuracy, not myths, exaggerations, or misrepresentations...or silent omission.  We need books written from the Native perspective.  What an amazing book Michael Fitzgerald has created that is accessible and understandable by young readers.

CHILDREN OF THE TIPI was published by Wisdom Tales Press, an imprint of World Wisdom and Wisdom Tales. This year Wisdom Tales is sponsoring the first annual Multicultural Children's Book Day, January 27th.  They will be giving away sets of their children’s books on both their Facebook and Pinterest pages in conjunction with the event.  Take a look – their books are wonderful. 


LinWash said...

I didn't know there was a Multicultural Children's Book Day! I'm glad there is. So glad you mentioned that. I will have to look for this book.

Janet Fox said...

Hi Linda - I didn't either, until Nancy pointed it out. She's really got her finger on the pulse. Thanks so much!!