Mingan: My village Poems by Innu Schoolchildren by Rogé
With participation of Joséphine Bacon, Rita Mestokosho and Laure Morali.
I have the feeling I could write nothing about this title and that just from the cover image, you will seek it out.
And really, you should. Seek. Read. Share it with students. It is beautiful on every level.
After spending a few days with children in Mingan, an Innu village in northeastern Quebec, Rogé painted portraits of the children he photographed. Through writer’s workshops, the children wrote the poetry that is shared in this book. The writing could speak of so many things in these children’s experiences. These poems depict a rich connection to nature, an honouring of the natural world and an awe of the beauty that surrounds us.
Some poems are written by one author. Others are collaborations. I love much of the imagery. Here is a portion of a favourite piece:
It snows on the planets
When we walk on the sky
And these words just stopped me.
When the ravens become white
I will stop loving you
More than forty percent of the students who attend my school are Aboriginal. I have just ordered my own copy of this title so it can be a part of our classroom library. Student voice. Student expression. The magic of poetry. I want all of these things to be inspiration to my students. I want them to find their power to observe, to share and to connect through the words of these children on the other side of our country.
When I ordered this title, I also ordered another title by Rogé that has been getting a lot of recent attention for its gorgeous illustrations:
Haiti My country: Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren
Are these titles nonfiction? Yes and no. I think they can be stretched between genres. That these poems capture so much truth, that they inspire the reader to think about a place and a specific time and seek out maps and more information, this is my reason to nudge these titles, for today, into the nonfiction world.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2014. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!
My goal is to read 65 nonfiction picture books for 2014. Progress: 121/65 complete!