Missing Nimâmâ

Missing Nimâmâ

Book - 2015
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Missing nimâmâ is a story of love, loss, and acceptance, showing the human side of a national tragedy.
Publisher: Richmond Hill, Ontario : Clockwise Press, [2015]
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780993935145
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations
Additional Contributors: Thisdale, François 1964-


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Missing Nimâmâ by Melanie Florence, winner of the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, is a lovely picture book for anyone’s collection. However, it is especially relevant for teachers looking for First Nations materials for the new BC Ministry of Education requirements, or for anyone who has read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and wants to dig deeper into the stories of Canada’s First Nations. It introduces the topic of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in a format that is accessible to young children.

The story of a young girl growing up is told in the voices of the girl and her missing mother. The lovely, wistful illustrations reflect the emotions of the daughter who is missing her mother, and the mother who can no longer raise her daughter. The sweet and touching relationship between the girl and the grandmother who raises her prevents the story from becoming too overwhelmingly sad. An interesting addition to the text is a Cree glossary of words which are both included in the text and hidden in the illustrations. More information and statistics on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada are included at the end of the book for those who want to go a bit deeper. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Canada’s relationship to its indigenous people. (Submitted by Rebecca).

forbesrachel Aug 12, 2017

Missing Nimâmâ is a work of fiction that refers to a sadly widespread reality; the violence towards, and murder of indigenous women. Through this finely crafted picture book, the creators hope to raise awareness, and inspire action by portraying the experience of one family. Kateri misses her nimâmâ, and as we learn right from the beginning, it's because her mother was murdered. The murder itself, and the socioeconomic and psychological reasons for it are never mentioned. Instead, this heartbreaking story focuses on what this loss means to the daughter and the grandmother, and what it means to the departed mother. To do this, it is told from two perspectives: the girl who is doing her best to live her life, and the ghost of her watching mother, whose thoughts linger in italics. As Kateri grows up with her nôhkum and later with her own family, the mother expresses how much she loves her daughter, how proud she is, but also exhibits signs of anger, sadness, and even jealousy. The affects on the daughter are apparent more through the illustrations and events, because her half is told in third person, unlike her mother's which is in first. Thisdale's art is appropriately sobering at times, and full of loving warmth in others. The pictures are beautifully painted, and characters look photorealistic in order to create a stronger personal connection between the reader and the story. Florence's text is equally a part of the reason that people will be able to connect to the experience of this family. She never tries to dramatize what is happening or what the characters are feeling. She just tells it as it is through the little moments that matter. Readers who are not familiar with the Cree language and script will greatly appreciate the note on the very first page which introduces the words that are used throughout. Putting this at the front suggests a keenness to promote this language and culture just as much as the purpose is to tell a story; most picture books usually include such a chart at the end, leaving readers to discover it after the fact. At the back of this book is a note that includes the voices of different people, including that of the previous Canadian government which failed to address this issue, some facts, and a link to a resource that can help people find out more. Missing Nimâmâ offers the opportunity to open up a dialogue with children about how to treat women, how to deal with the loss of a loved one, what is happening to indigenous peoples, and what can be done. Every child, every parent, every person should read this book.

Feb 11, 2017

touching story of connections held through generations in the face of absence.

Andreatd Nov 22, 2016

Winner of the 2016 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. This book can be many things to many people. It can help any child that has lost a parent understand that they are loved even though that parent is gone. It also is a good way to begin teaching children about the missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada and would be a great way to start a meaningful discussion on the subject at any age.

Mar 06, 2016

Excellent book . Will need some help with explaining the topic when reading to the younger kids , but well worth the reading and having a discussion on the growing sad problem of women , no matter the race and country of origin , disappearing at the hands of evil people. Very well done book on a topic too often still in the news in the 21st century .

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