Honoring Native and Indigenous Voices: Books for Younger Kids

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Books by and about Native and Indigenous people and communities for kids ages 0-8.

  • Shi-shi-etko

    2005 by Campbell, Nicola I.

    Beautifully illustrated, this book chronicles the last four days at home before Shi-shi-etko is picked up by a cattle truck to attend an "Indian Residential School." Ages 5-8.

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  • Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi'idim

    2018 by Child, Brenda J.

    A girl named Windy dreams about the powwow she just attended with her Uncle--only hers is with dogs! This story highlights the Ojibwe traditions of song, dance, food, and community. Ages 4-8.

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  • Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman

    2021 by Davids, Sharice

    This inspirational autobiography of Sharice Davids shares her path to becoming one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas. She talks about an interest in martial arts and connecting with people and how those interests led her to politics. Ages 5-8.

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  • Birdsong

    2020 by Flett, Julie

    This is a beautiful story of intergenerational friendship, shared passions, and a celebration of the healing power of art and nature. The use of Cree-Métis words helps to ground the story in tradition against a backdrop of the routine changes of modern life. Ages 3-8.

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  • We All Play: Kimêtawânaw

    2021 by Flett, Julie

    A joyous celebration of play that follows children and animals as they romp, wiggle, and chirp in nature. It includes a glossary of Cree words for the wild animals featured in the story. Ages 0-5.

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  • My Heart Fills with Happiness

    2016 by Gray Smith, Monique

    What fills your heart with happiness? This book asks the reader, adults and children alike, to think of all the big and small things that fill them with a sense of joy and peace. You'll be surprised and delighted with the possibilities. Ages 0-5.

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  • We Are Water Protectors

    2020 by Lindstrom, Carole

    This story is inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America to protect our Earth's most endangered resource: water. This book provides a great reminder to us all--it is not enough to just recognize the destruction; we must raise our voices in protest and stand before those who seek to harm our Earth. Ages 3-6.

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  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

    2019 by Maillard, Kevin Noble

    This book is an ode to fry bread, a food that is part of a shared Native tradition among all 573 recognized tribes. Poetic descriptions of the experience of making, eating, and joining together to enjoy it are combined with the history of its continued importance in contemporary Native culture. Ages 3-6.

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  • Johnny's Pheasant

    2019 by Minnema, Cheryl

    This is a great story featuring an intergenerational relationship between a grandmother and grandchild. The pheasant they find together becomes the focus of a surprising, and humorous, narrative. Ages 3-8.

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  • The Forever Sky

    2019 by Peacock, Thomas D.

    Two young Ojibwe brothers turn their grief of losing their grandmother to the sky, which holds much importance to the Ojibwe people, especially the stars and their constellations. Ages 3-8.

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  • On the Trapline

    2021 by Robertson, David

    A picture book celebrating Indigenous culture and traditions. A grandfather, Moshom, takes his grandson to visit a place of great meaning to him: a trapline, where Moshom grew up, and a place where people hunt and live off the land. Ages 4-8.

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  • The Water Walker

    2017 by Robertson, Joanne

    This book tells the story of an Ojibwe grandmother, Josephine Mandamin, who started walking in 2003 to bring attention to water quality and scarcity. She began what would become the Mother Earth Water Walkers movement--a group that went on foot around the Great Lakes, and from ocean to ocean, to spread awareness. Ages 4-8.

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  • At the Mountain's Base

    2019 by Sorell, Traci

    This book tells the story of a Cherokee family that is awaiting the return of a family member from war. The author honors the strength and courage of Indigenous women, who were often called upon to serve our country. This is a great book to share as a family. Ages 4-8.

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  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

    2018 by Sorell, Traci

    "Otsaliheliga" is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude. Journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. A look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Ages 4-8.

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  • I Sang You Down from the Stars

    2021 by Spillett-Sumner, Tasha

    A gorgeous ode to the belief among many Indigenous peoples that "babies choose their parents." Ages 0-5.

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