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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reader's Diary #554- Mindy Willet and Sheyenne Jumbo and photography by Tessa Macintosh: Come and Learn With Me


From the informational book collection, The Land is Our Storybook, comes the fourth in the series, Come and Learn With Me. Co-written by Mindy Willett and Sheyenne Jumbo and illustrated by Tessa Macintosh, it’s hard to decide who to heap most of the praise upon, and there’s a lot of praise coming their way.

I’ll start with Macintosh’s crisp photography. Combined with the meticulously thought out and uncluttered arrangement, this is a stellar display of visuals. Readers can simply take in the beauty, scan for all the fascinating details, or revel in 9 year old Sheyenne’s bubbling personality, which Macintosh has almost miraculously managed to capture.

From there I’ll move on to Mindy Willett, the educator from Yellowknife and woman behind the series. At first glance, Willett’s presence in this volume is not immediately noticeable. But it’s a testament to her professionalism and talent that she makes it look easy. Look closely and you’ll sense her guiding hand as she pushes the star of the book, Sheyenne Jumbo, to the forefront where she belongs.

And with that, I guess I know where I’m heaping most of my praise afterall; upon Sheyenne Jumbo. With a truly infectious voice, Sheyenne teaches about her culture and life in Sambaa K’e (also known as Trout Lake), Northwest Territories like no adult could. One senses that the experience was a great reflection for Sheyenne, and through her enthusiastic learning, it’s impossible not to be drawn in and learn along with her.

Come and Learn With Me is one of the best informational books I’ve come across, chocked full with all the details one looks for in such books. The extra features puts some DVDs to shame: recipes, glossary, crafts, maps, and my favourite, a couple of fictional stories also written by Sheyenne. And (yay!) no asinine audio commentary.

Aimed at children, I unashamedly admit that I loved it and learned from it as well. There’s a passage in the book in which Sheyenne talks about Robert Munsch inspiring her to write. I have no doubt that someday another child will say the same about her.
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I'll quit with the voting appeals soon, I promise! But in the mean time, please consider going here and voting for me, as the best Canadian Cultural or Literature Blog. Go through my archives and you'll see that my blog has a very heavy emphasis on promoting and celebrating Canadian authors and their books. I also run the very popular Canadian Book Challenge.


And then, if it's not too much trouble, could you also vote in the Best NWT Blogs? I'm up for a "Best Themed Blog" Award. Check it out. (For Northern voters, I do review at least one Northern book a month!). Do yourself a favour while you're there: check out all the other great NWT Blogs-- there's a very active and close knit blogging community North of 60!

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

done and done. You go get em, kiddo!