This picture book is a small glimpse, from A to Z, of some of the sights and sounds of the Michif language and its speakers. The language of the Métis, Michif is a combination of French and Cree with a trace of other regional languages. Once spoken by thousands of people across the prairies of Canada and the northern United States, Michif is now so little spoken that it might disappear within a generation. This alphabet book is part of a resurgence to celebrate and preserve the traditions of the Métis people. Here Michif and English words combine with images from Métis culture to introduce all generations to the unique Michif language. The book even includes a brief introduction to the language's history, a pronunciation guide, and a list of references for those interested in learning more about Michif.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A beautiful alphabet book with award winning graphics by Métis artist Julie Fleet is sure to delight and inform the reader. This little book is a capsule on Métis culture and Michif language. Besides the alphabet, there are notes about the language: until more recently, it has been an oral language; there are no q or x sounds therefore those letters are not in the book; and guides on pronunciation. Each spread has a letter with a Michif word and an English translation. If the reader knows some French, they can try to guess the translation. For example, ¿B¿ is for ¿Li Bafloo¿ or buffalo and ¿P¿ is for ¿la pwii¿ or rain. However, some letters have only one word that translates to an entire expression, for example, ¿A¿ is for ¿Atayookee!¿ or ¿Tell a story!¿ and ¿M¿ is for ¿Manishow¿ or ¿He/she is picking berries¿. The page is mostly white with the letter and Michif word in colour while the English word is in black. The font choice is fine and elegant. The Michif text colour changes to compliments the artwork. The artwork can bleed off the page and sometimes takes a strip of the other page too. On other occasions, the background is white and some of the images float on the page. Many images are taken from nature or people out in nature. The artist uses a limited colour palette ¿ organic tones with darker colours catching your eye on the neutral foregrounds. She creates these beautiful images by mixing traditional and digital mediums. Themes: First Nations Peoples, Social Studies, and Art.Grade level: K-7