A Day with Yayah — 18 Comments

  1. Gorgeous book, a definite read in the elem. Class—the connections of generational families. The nature vs. nurture conversation. The illustrations and text are unique. The fact of the term ‘to forage’ is one that students need to be aware of in exploring foods and our outside world. The drawback…the text and the language—-very unique. 2 stars of 5.

  2. This book had a wonderful message, and beautiful illustrations, however, I agree with many of you in that I don’t see myself using it with my kids. The pronunciation guide in the back of the book was very helpful, however, I still stumbled over most of the words. The story was charming, but I don’t see it appealing to the 2nd-3rd grade demographic.

  3. I don’t have enough Native American books in our libraries so this will be a wonderful addition. I love the language exposure through this book. The guide inthe back is very helpful. I would not be comfortable reading this aloud to a class because of my poor pronunciation of the new words. I found a read aloud available on YouTube that I would use instead. Love shines through this book.

  4. I found this book to be very sweet and informative. However, it would be a very difficult read aloud in the classroom. If I were to read it aloud in the classroom, I would probably copy the author’s pronunciation key from the back of the book to where the words are in the story. Every spring we go to our local nature center and hunt for the makings of “swamp stew” — edible plants from our area. The naturalists are very much like yayah with warnings to be very observant before picking things as many plants can look alike but are not edible/safe. This book would be a nice tie into that event.

  5. I like the story and the idea behind the book but had a hard time reading it trying to pronounce all the words correctly. I probably would not read this book at school because I would not be able to make the story flow smoothly. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

  6. This book introduces a lot of new vocabulary and a new culture to young children. It centers around food and eating so even young children would have a way to relate to they story and compare to their own culture. Here in MN there are many immigrants and many cultures represented so I think it would help the children learn about some of their own ancestry. I did have a hard time reading it because of the different language inserted into the story. I felt that it interrupted the story and for that reason might not be great for young children or as a read-aloud. Although kids of any age would also struggle tor read it as well. I liked the earlier suggestion of an audio recording – or possibly finding a native person to read the story aloud. 3/5 stars

  7. I think that this lovely book would work well with a few different units of study our second graders do: learning about native peoples, and also learning about growing and harvesting food. While I agree with others that the story arc suffers a bit as the author includes all of the pronunciation information in the story, I think that a discussion with students about why it is important to try and keep/share native languages alive could be a positive result of sharing this book.
    When I read aloud books that include other languages, I try and find/listen to the correct pronunciations. I think it would be a meaningful addition to this text if the author could either record herself reading the book in its entirety, or at least record herself reading the Glossary of Words.

  8. I agree with others on this book. I has a good message of learning from our elders about important cultural/family traditions, but it was hard to follow with the different languages. I would love to see this book on a CD/DVD where children can hear the words spoken correctly. I give it a 3/5.

  9. The story is about what it was like for a First Nations family to gather and prepare food. The fact that this information was important to pass on to each generation was understood in the book. However, the story moves slowly and gets bogged down with the pronunciation of words. It would be a hard read aloud. There is a lot of information in the book, so perhaps it could be used as a reference book for a Native American unit.

  10. While this is a good family/culture connection story, it was just so hard for me to read. I definitely would not be able to use this in a read aloud. Students may like the story, but I think they would become uninterested in the slow storyline and length of the book. I would not use this in my classroom.

  11. I liked this book although I did have a hard time getting into it. I was feeling frustrated by the end of the first page after having had new vocabulary handled three different ways. I wished the book had a more consistent way to introduce and explain new vocabulary. That aside, I did enjoy the story and the relationship between Yayah and the children. The children’s eagerness to learn more and their curiosity about the plants they were harvesting was so well portrayed that I felt that I too was a child learning from Yayah right along with them.

    As a book written by someone from the culture and tribe itself, this book is a valuable addition to indigenous peoples literature. It would be a good book to include in displays for celebrating and bringing attention to different cultures, indigenous peoples, and minority authors.

    Overal rating: 3.5/5 stars

  12. This was an interesting book. I agree with some previous comments that stated that the language piece made it a choppy read, but the emphasis on intergenerational relationships was lovely. The glossary and explanation were very helpful. I also agree that it wasn’t an “exciting” story, but I am not sure that is the point of this book. The illustrations were beautiful, reminding me of a contemporary Ezra Jack Keats. I loved the illustration of the people sitting in webbed lawn chairs and the grandma and the girl in their kerchiefs. That is right out of my childhood in northern Minnesota!

    My thought is that this book would be an interesting multicultural addition to a classroom unit about plants or harvest. I think it is a book that should be part of a school’s media center collection, but ultimately, I could see myself reading the book to a future grandchild.: )

  13. Did you like this book? Why or why not?
    This book is beautiful and I loved it. The illustrations are darling. I love the respect shown for nature, traditions, and culture. This is an important book for Native children to see themselves but also for non-Natives to see a true representation as well.
    This would be a great book to use in libraries and classrooms and would go well with studying American Indian culture. It also makes a wonderful read aloud. I would love to have the audiobook version of this book to hear the Nle?kepmx pronunciations said by someone who is fluent in the language. However the glossary at the back is also helpful.
    Rating 5/5 stars

    More from Debbie Reese about this book:

    More about the Scw’exmx (the People of the Creeks):

  14. I just discovered mushroom hunting for the first time, so I had a real world to text connection! And I’ve never heard of lightning mushrooms! This is the perfect time of year to share this book! “Remember to check for wood ticks!” lines makes me squirm each time I read it! To make the book come alive, I would definitely practice my pronunciations of the different words along with images of the real plants, etc. It would again be fabulous if we could have audio of the author sharing her book! Our school visits our Riverbend Nature Center quite often and this would a natural tie in or a field trip to our state park where we could discover these and other wildflowers.

    It is an interesting concept that languages can become extinct and could be also connected to words that have been added to our language in the past 10 years! For example, just words connected to technology that perhaps our grandparents wouldn’t understand!

    The other connection would be for students to write about their own Yayahs/grandparents and what they learn from them whether it be making family recipes to knitting/crocheting to fishing… Nicola Campbell’s goal for her books are to portray positive uplifting stories about indigenous tribes.

    This book was also a part of the Global Read Aloud initiative which is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year! I had never heard of this but it looks to be a wonderful resource for books for all ages to share over a 6 week period!

    I rate this book 4/5 stars.

  15. I really did NOT like this book! It was really hard to follow the story since there were so many words I didn’t understand. I have 4 kids of my own ranging from 10-16 years old and they all looked through it and none of them wanted to finish it. They all expressed loosing interest and how hard it was to follow.
    I would not use this in the classroom, for free reading or a read loud.
    I rate this book 0/5 stars

  16. This book was ok. I enjoyed the family theme of being together. I did loose interest with the story pretty quick. I think 3rd graders and below would put the book down with frustrations of pronunciation of words.
    Rating 2/5. I don’t feel I would use this book in my classroom

  17. I can see where this book would hold an important place among a K-3 picture book collection. However, I also think it could hold great value for intermediate and high school readers as well. It raises awareness about endangered indigenous languages. It’s vibrant illustrations pay close attention to details-in the flower petals and insects. I especially love the details of the children’s boots. The glossary and author’s note at the end of the story are so interesting and added to the depth of my understanding.

    This book could play a great variety of roles in the education field. For the younger audience, it could be used in conversations about diversity, family, intergenerational relationships, spring and seeds and plants. For the older grades I envision it being used in the context of horticulture, linguistics and exploring ethnicity.

    I rate this book 5/5 stars.

    • I liked this book because I loved mushroom hunting when I was younger. I could tie this book into our Native American unit in 4th grade. I would rate it a 7 though because I found that trying to pronounce all the native american words made the reading choppy for me.