Books by Nicola I. Campbell

A DAY WITH YAYAH by Nicola I. Campbell
Released: March 16, 2018

"With modern children learning an elder's wisdom, this makes for a lovely day out. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A current-day Interior Salish girl named Nikki and her two friends spend a day with Yayah, Nikki's grandmother, learning about edible plants. Read full book review >
GRANDPA'S GIRLS by Nicola I. Campbell
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"The voice may be adult, but the experience is recalled vividly enough to bring young readers along. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Warm memories of visits to Grandpa's house, laced with sentiment and sprinkled with Salish. Read full book review >
SHIN-CHI’S CANOE by Nicola I. Campbell
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

Shi-shi-etko (of the 2006 eponymous title) is returning for a second year to one of the Indian residential schools that the Native children of Canada were once required to attend. This year, her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, will accompany her. They are loaded into a cattle truck with many others (most of whom look to be adults), and Shin-chi is encouraged to take special note of the natural elements that must sustain his spirit until his summer return: fish, trees, mountains, waters. The children's school days are full of regulation and restriction, but Shin-chi takes comfort in the river and in the palm-sized cedar canoe Shi-shi-etko has given him as a sort of talisman. LaFave's digitally manipulated art has a film-like quality that softens his stylized, anonymous figures. Home and nature scenes are tinted blue and gold, but a palette of institutional colors is used for the school-set pages, where the children's jackets—hers red, his blue—set them apart, Schindler's List-like, from the dun masses. This gentle look at the residential school program concludes with the children's reassuring return to their loving family. (Picture book. 6-10)Read full book review >
SHI-SHI-ETKO by Nicola I. Campbell
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

A young Native American child prepares to leave home and family for compulsory Indian School in this quietly poetic Canadian import. On each of her last three days, Shi-shi-etko ("She Loves To Play In The Water") goes out with a different adult to gather impressions of her people's ways and the natural world around her: standing in a creek, listening to her mother singing, for instance, she "memorized each shiny rock, / the sand beneath her feet, / crayfish and minnows and tadpoles." On succeeding days she does the same with her father and her Yayah (grandmother), promising herself that she will not forget. Using a palette of saturated blues and rich autumnal reds and golds, LaFave places a child in modern dress (as the author explains in a foreword, the last Indian boarding school in Canada did not close until 1984) within landscapes whose strong, curving lines evoke subdued but intense feelings underlying this poignant tale of taking leave. Except in the foreword, Campbell never mentions where the child is going—so Shi-shi-etko's sadness and determination will also resonate with any child who's had to leave a familiar world behind. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >