October 18, 2017

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BOOK REVIEW: BOOZHOO, AJIDAMOO

BOOK REVIEW: BOOZHOO, AJIDAMOO

Boozhoo, Ajidamoo Cover | Image source: Barns and Noble

While greeting the sun and various forest friends, the always curious and intelligent Ajidamoo meets Steve, an otherworldly visitor, and takes a trip into space. Such is the setting for Michael Lyons’ wonderfully illustrated book for early Anishinaabeg language learners.  I have wondered in recent years why there are no books that are readily available aimed at children either in kindergarten or pre-kindergarten. Apparently Lyons, unbeknownst to me, was listening.

Boozhoo, Ajidamoo is another contribution to early language learning. Its bold text, Anishinaabemowin, and illustration combination is both engaging and educational. It provides basic language acquisition of several animals such as Gijikkijigaaneshiinh, Memengwaa, Esiban, Aandeg, and Nenookaasi, as well as terms for the sun, earth, and moon.  Other linguistic concepts include introducing yourself and saying “see you later” or Gigawaabamin. By not including the English translation in the book, Lyons forces the readers to learn vocabulary by associated images or actions, both of which enhance language acquisition and retention. He does provide the translations, but on the back cover, disassociated from their usage. Unfortunately, unlike other works by Lyons, a pronunciation guide is not provided.

Overall, I would recommend Boozhoo, Ajidamoo for both adults and children learning Anishinaabemowin. My family certainly enjoys the book.

Boozhoo, Ajidamoo by Michael Lyons; CreateSpace Publishing (2014); 34 pages, softcover; ISBN-13: 9781505222197  

This article was written by Karl Hele and was originally published by Anishinabek News. Republished with permission.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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