NIPÊHON / I WAIT by Caitlin Dale Nicholson
Kirkus Star

NIPÊHON / I WAIT

Age Range: 2 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Spare, bilingual text written in Cree (in both the standard Roman orthography and in syllabics) and in English presents a multigenerational harvesting of wild yarrow.

The first-person narration tells readers that a little girl and her mother await Nôhkom (Cree for “my grandmother”) as she prepares to harvest yarrow flowers and leaves. Accompanying illustrations rendered in acrylics on canvas depict the girl and both women and then follow them as they venture out into the fields, accompanied by a brown-and-white dog that’s unmentioned in the text. The palette is gentle and the style soft, with art that invites contemplative engagement in this small moment of family togetherness. In three separate full-page illustrations, each worker prays, then the work begins. “Nôhkom picks. / I pick.” But—“Mom?” The book catches Mom in a playful moment, blowing at a yarrow puff. Daughter and grandmother wait for her. When the narrator pronounces the task “done!” her face is utterly overtaken by delight. Although the book ends with pictures of the girl and women with the flowers in the fields, backmatter provides a simple recipe for yarrow tea, often used medicinally, which suggests the reason for their harvest.

A quiet, gentle picture book about a contemporary First Nations family and their ties to one another, their heritage, and their homeland. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-55498-914-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2017




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