Reviewed by Debbie Reese
Several years ago, I was invited to a first grade classroom to talk with the children about Native Americans. One child met me at the school door and was intent on scanning the parking lot. Then he said, “Where’s your horse?” I told him I had a car and pointed it out in the parking lot. I don’t remember what, if anything, we said after that, but his question reflects what young children know — or think they know — about Native peoples.
If that happened to me today, I’d say with enthusiasm, “You gotta read A Letter for Bob . . . .”
You (teacher, librarian, caregiver, professor . . . ) . . . you gotta get copies of A Letter for Bob. Yes. I said “copies” because you can use it in your classrooms and libraries — and you can gift it to families like the one you meet in this picture book. It’ll be out in September from Heartdrum.
I got an advanced copy yesterday and started to read it. But then I stopped. The way Kim Rogers wrote the book beckoned me to read it out loud! So, I did! To myself! With such joy! That’s what a book can do when its characters and/or the story are like you and your life. Continue reading on America Indians in Children’s Literature.
A Letter for Bob by Kim Rogers
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on September 19, 2023
Genres: Grief, American Indians First Nations Metis Inuit
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Publisher's Synopsis: With humor and heart, and brought to life by Jonathan Nelson's warm, distinctive artwork, Kim Rogers's A Letter for Bob celebrates the treasured cars that carry us through our most meaningful childhood moments.
Ever since the day Mom and Dad brought Bob home from the car dealership, Bob has been a part of Katie's family.
Bob has taken them all over, from powwows to vacations to time spent with faraway family. Bob has been there in sad and scary times and for some of the family's most treasured memories.
But after many miles, it's time for the family to say goodbye to Bob . . . .
This humorous and tender story about a beloved family car — and all the stories and love carried along for the ride — will appeal to every kid whose family has owned a special car!
Kim Rogers is the author of Just Like Grandma, illustrated by Julie Flett, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, which called it "a joyous, uplifting celebration of culture and family."