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Native Americans: A Visual Exploration

Native Americans: A Visual Exploration

by Shaker Paleja, Kevin Loring (Introduction)

A dynamic visual snapshot of North America’s first peoples. Packed with exciting infographics that capture the history and culture of Native Americans in the U.S. and Canada, this compact and innovative approach decodes information simply and clearly. Using highly colorful, vibrant layouts including maps, pictographs, charts, and timelines, the book builds


A dynamic visual snapshot of North America’s first peoples. Packed with exciting infographics that capture the history and culture of Native Americans in the U.S. and Canada, this compact and innovative approach decodes information simply and clearly. Using highly colorful, vibrant layouts including maps, pictographs, charts, and timelines, the book builds understanding with answers to questions such as: • How did the first humans come to America? • How did the arrival of European settlers affect Native American populations? • What are some issues Native Americans face today? Designed to quickly engage readers, The Big Picture: Native Americans is an appealing, accessible entry point into a vast and multifaceted topic.

Editorial Reviews

Canadian Children's Book Centre - Laura Shtern
Entertaining and informative... The infographics are fun and varied...the colour scheme and layout are very nice.
Canadian Teacher
An amazing amount of information is presented on these 48 pages. (The book) presents an overview of the indigenous people of North America that could be used to teach a unit on this subject or to provide a stepping stone to more in-depth research projects. This book would also be useful to teach how information is delivered in non-fiction titles.
Green Teacher
S.N. Paleja's small book is a well-organized visual feast... The fact that so much useful information is effectively conveyed in a mere 48 pages is testament to the first-rate maps, bar graphs, pie charts and timelines, all carefully and colourfully laid out to make the publication as accessible as possible to a grades 4-7 target audience... Don't be surprised if your young readers are spurred on to further research thanks to this comprehensive little book.
Teacher Librarian - Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson
Provides a wonderful introduction to American lndians. This engaging book serves as a great starting point for social studies investigations.
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
This in-depth study of Native Americans uses a variety of visual representations of information called infographics to describe their history, culture, and society. Graphs, maps, illustrations, and timelines are used throughout the nonfiction text that is the first book in the "Big Picture" series. The first chapter discusses where they came from and how they got here. A timeline with graphics includes highlights in their history beginning from forty-thousand years ago to recent times. A chapter about tribes and society contains a large map showing the climate and the names of the tribes who lived in the U.S., Canada, and the Arctic. Illustrations depict pictures of the different types of shelters and there is a paragraph describing each one. Another chapter tells about the typical communities, social structures, and kinship. Information about what they ate includes facts about their farming, fishing, hunting, and gathering of wild foods. A two-page spread about bison along with a labeled picture of a bison shows how all the various parts of the bison were used. Several pages explore how the landscape and wildlife were transformed by Native American societies and by the arrival of Europeans. There are facts about their languages, beliefs, and inventions. A timeline about settlements concerning the land, facts about Native American deaths, and how they have made an impact in the present time are covered using narrative along with statistics in graphic forms. This educational text is a good source for research and a useful addition to schools and libraries. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—All of Native North American history is compressed into colorful infographics with occasional, brief text boxes. Short chapters from "Origins" to "Modern Day" are broken up into spreads, each of which answers a big question (e.g., "What was life like?"). Graphs, maps, time lines, diagrams, and more will appeal to visually oriented readers. The format necessarily simplifies and condenses information, so students writing about individual tribes will need to look elsewhere for supplemental material. However, the book succeeds as a general overview, especially in its emphasis on the diversity of geography, language, and culture of different Native American groups across the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, Paleja solidly grounds Native Americans in the present day, discussing language revival, small-business ownership, teens' social media use, and other contributions and challenges in contemporary communities.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Facts about native peoples in the United States and Canada presented in infographic form make up the substance of this visually interesting but problematic title. Organized loosely into sections covering origins, society, foods and culture, this slim volume attempts to provide a visual snapshot of the many indigenous peoples of these two countries. Each double-page spread answers a question--"Where did they live?" "How did they eat?" "What do they believe?"--with a short paragraph and one or many graphics accompanied by further text. There are maps, graphs, word clouds, timelines and numbers galore. Some images are suitable for younger readers: "What can you make with a bison?" is a clear depiction of how that animal served as a "walking department store." Others, such as a map combining symbols and colors for typical communities, social structures and kinship systems, require considerable visual literacy. The combination of generalities--"Generosity is an important aspect of Native American spirituality"--and statistics that vary from source to source makes the information that is so graphically presented suspect. A selected bibliography suggests the actor-turned-author consulted sources ranging from encyclopedias to websites from a variety of organizations. Occasional obvious errors (humans don't walk at 10 mph) stand out. Educators may find this an instructive reminder that big pictures often don't reveal much. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
Big Picture Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

S.N. Paleja has appeared as an actor in film, television, and theater. This is his first book for children; he also recently completed an adult novel.

Kevin Loring is a writer and actor whose play Where the Blood Mixes won the prestigious Canadian Governor General's Literary Award for Drama in 2009. Kevin is a member of the Nlaka'Pamux First Nation in British Columbia, and currently lives in Vancouver.

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