C is for Chickasaw, by Wiley Barnes

 

Written by Wiley Barnes

Illustrated by Aaron Long

Age Range: 6 and up

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: White Dog Press

What to expect: Indigenous People: Chickasaw Nation, Culture, and Heritage

Hello! Welcome to the Chickasaw people’s world, which is introduced through this fascinating, brightly colored, and conceptual alphabet book.

C is for Chickasaw is a book about the Chickasaw history and culture as well as about the preservation of the Chickasaw Nation. Now, there are only fewer than fifty-five fluent Chickasaw language speakers, so this book is an exhilarating addition to the world of children’s literature.

C is for Chickasaw is not only well-written but also well-designed. It has a clear format which enables readers of different reading and comprehension levels to take in as much as they are ready for. In the end pages, there are the words glossary, the activities, and discussion questions, all that makes it also suitable for a classroom setting.

Through the alphabet, from A to Z, the author and illustrator of this book share 26 concepts which highlight the Chickasaw culture and heritage, for example, the importance of family, clothing, art, tools, and the forced resettlement of Native Americans in the 1830s. For each letter, there is an English word accompanied by a Chickasaw word and a two-line stanza which gives meaning to the word. To resound the identity of the Chickasaw people, the illustrator displays boldly the Southeastern Native American artwork on each page. Each concept includes a short description and additional information so that readers can dig deeper.

Filled with knowledge, courage, and wisdom, this educational picture book surely makes both the Chickasaw elders and readers ages 6+ be fascinated.

About the Author

Wiley Barnes has spent nearly 18 years forging a career in writing, publishing, printing, and graphic design, with his last 11 years at the Chickasaw Nation. During that time, he has had the pleasure of working on some projects promoting the Chickasaw culture. C is for Chickasaw is his first book for children. He lives in Oklahoma, with his wife and two children.

Cassandra and the Night Sky, by Amy Jackson

Written by Amy Jackson

Illustrated by Donna Paredes

Age Range: 5-12

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Bright Sky Press

What to expect: Astronomy, stars, constellations

Cassandra and the Night Sky is an interesting book telling the tales of the constellations in the night sky. It is about a world where all the stars have been stolen by an evil King. Therefore, the Kingdom lives nighttime in darkness except for the moon’s light. Cassandra, the Kingdom’s spoiled princess, who had every toy imaginable, has heard about the stars which used to shine brightly in the night sky. She was given a plain, broken teapot for her ninth birthday by her nurse. Being disappointed, Cassandra gives this gift to a servant’s daughter. However, one day, they discover that this teapot is filled with the stars in the night sky of ancient lore. They release all the trapped stars, to find the King who sets a trap of a nasty scorpion inside the teapot. With the help of her pet swan, Cygnus, Princess Cassandra can put the sky to right.

The story finally shows the real names and also the illustrations of the constellations Cygnus, Cassiopeia, the Scorpion, and the Teapot. This tale of constellations will delight all children and will make their telescope viewing adventures with the starry sky more exciting. The book’s illustrations, which are crafted with colored pencil by Donna Paredes, are richly saturated and bright. The book’s author Amy Jackson successfully brings this truly exciting and unique story concept to life by using her extensive background in teaching and in the sciences. This gives a funny reading for the whole family, especially before a star-viewing party.

About the Author

Amy Jackson is the Starry Sky Austin’s founder and director. She grew up in Houston with NASA in her backyard, her dream was to become an astronaut.