Reviewed by Debbie Reese
Last month I (Debbie) was in Toronto at the 2020 Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference. There, I spoke (and ate, and laughed–a lot!) with Native women. At one of these moments, they were asking me if I’d seen Joanne Robertson’s new board book yet. I had not, but as I listened to them talk about it… to the delight in their voices, I suspected it would be something I’d like, too.
nibi is water, nibi aawan nbiish arrived at my house and sure enough, it lifted my day! The nuts and bolts, so to speak, are this: it is what some call a “concept” book. It tells us several characteristics of some thing… like an information book, but for very young readers.
Robertson’s book is about water and the many ways that a child experiences it. You can swim or bathe in it, you can drink it, you can use it to wash your clothes… But Robertson reminds us that we need to care for it, that we have to respect, love, and protect it because, as the final page tells us, water is life. Continue reading.
Nibi Is Water by Joanne Robertson
Published by Second Story Press on April 14, 2020
Reading Level: Early Childhood
Review Source: American Indians in Children's Literature
Also by this author: The Water Walker
Publisher's Synopsis: A first conversation about the importance of Nibi — which means water in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) — and our role to thank, respect, love, and protect it. Babies and toddlers can follow Nibi as it rains and snows, splashes or rows, drips and sips. Written from an Anishinaabe water protector's perspective, the book is in dual language — English and Anishinaabemowin.