Kids learn basic Cree words and sentences from a gentle school bus driver in this children’s picture book.
Nimoshom, whose name means “my grandfather” in Cree, is a kindly man with tan skin, rosy cheeks, a white mustache, and a loving smile. Every day he says “Tansi” (“Hello”) to the children who board his school bus, who also have tan skin and rosy cheeks. Sometimes, he says “Mino kisikaw,” which means, “It is a good day.” If the kids get rowdy, he says “Api” (“Sit down”). The children bring him Christmas presents, and Nimoshom thanks them by saying “Ekosani.” Like some Cree people, Nimoshom doesn’t say goodbye; instead, he says “Ekosi,” meaning “OK,” “That’s it,” or “Amen.” Thomas’ simple language lesson will be a pleasant addition to storytimes about indigenous cultures. Although it includes no pronunciation guide, there’s a helpful glossary with 13 words and sentences. Hibbard’s lovely pastel color illustrations are simple in style; for example, one brown fox (or dog) looks like it could have been drawn by a child. The placement and colors of rural animals complement the overall tone. On a “good” day, for example, a bright-red fox runs playfully with the bus; when the bus is late, a dark gray wolf (or dog) chases it.
A simple but endearing glimpse of Cree language and life.