Sequoyah’s Syllabary

Some languages use alphabet letters to make written sounds.
Some languages use characters.
But did you know there is another brilliant system of writing?
It doesn’t use either alphabet letters or characters.
Instead, it has symbols that stand for syllables.
Over a billion people in the world speak languages that use syllable symbols for writing.

This picture book tells the story of one of those languages.

Cherokee uses 84 symbols or signs to make all the sounds of the language.
This writing system was invented by a man called Sequoyah who lived over 150 years ago.
Full-page colour illustrations and a Cherokee translation by Anna Sixkiller Huckaby accompany this compelling true story told by award-winning James Rumford.
Highly recommended for readers of all ages.

Rumford, James. Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004.

More books about indigenous people HERE.

More biographies HERE.



The Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends on June 24th this year.

Heiligman, Deborah. Celebrate Ramadan & Eid Al-Fitr. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2006.
This well-designed 31-page book will be appreciated by readers of various ages. Simple large-font sentences and colourful photographs will appeal to readers as young as 6 years old. Medium-size font longer sentences provide information for readers 8 years old and up. In a smaller-sized font at the end of the book, additional information – including a recipe, bibliography of books and websites, glossary, and map – will be interesting for readers 11 years old and up. Highly recommended for expanding the general knowledge of readers of all ages.

More books about the Muslim faith HERE

Some contributions from the Muslim world HERE

National Aboriginal Day

It’s National Aboriginal Day in Canada!

Vickers, Roy Henry and Robert Budd. Raven Brings the Light. Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Pub., 2013.
This complex powerful legend from the Tsimshian people of the Pacific northwest coast of N.A. is recommended for readers nine-years-old and up. An excellent read-aloud and an intriguing story for readers who enjoy inferring cross-cultural connections and finding universal themes. 

Find more stories of indigenous peoples of N.A. HERE.

Campbell, Nicola. Shi-shi-etko. Toronto: Groundwood, 2005.
A little girl is taught by her mother, father, and grandmother how to remember her home and her culture before she is taken away on a cattle truck to residential school. Astonishingly beautiful illustrations accompany this poignant story filled with five senses details. Highly recommended for readers – and listeners – of all ages.

The Story of Creation

In the beginning,…

Fleischman, Paul. First Light, First Life. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2016.

A master storyteller and accomplished artist tells a story of creation that celebrates traditions from around the world. The design of the book – the layout, font, colours – enhances this outstanding companion to a previous collaboration between Paul Fleischman and Julie Pashkis: Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella. Recommended for readers 8 years old and up.

More creation stories HERE

Hans Christian Andersen

Varmer, Hjordis. Hans Christian Andersen: His Fairy Tale Life. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2005.
An 11-chapter 111-page biography of the famous writer of fairy tales. Elegantly written by a renowned Danish children’s book author and beautifully illustrated by an award-winning artist, this book is highly recommended for inquisitive readers 10 years old and up. Translated from Danish.

“So you see, good can come even out of old rags, once they leave the rag heap and are transformed into paper on which truth and beauty are written.” – The Rags

Yolen, Jane. The Perfect Wizard: Hans Christian Andersen. New York: Dutton’s Children’s Books, 2004.

Quotations from Andersen’s fairy tales and full-page illustrations by Dennis Nolan accompany this lovely picture book biography highly recommended for readers 7 to 14 years of age.  

More biographies HERE

 “Come close, I want to tell you a story about luck. To some it comes daily, to others once a year. A few may be lucky only once in their lifetime. But we all have good fortune at least once.” – Luck Can Be Found in a Stick

Cats to the Rescue

Le Guin, Ursula K. Catwings Return. New York: Orchard Books, 2003, c1989.
James and Harriet, lovely little flying cats, return to the city to visit their mother where they discover a tiny black kitten who needs their help. A heart-warming story for readers – and listeners – up to 9 years of age.

More cat stories HERE.

What in the World?!

Richards, Jon and Ed Simkins. People on Earth. New York: Crabtree Publishing, 2017.

What is the most commonly spoken language on earth?
What is the most common language used on the internet?
What are the fastest growing countries on earth?
What countries are preferred by international tourists?
What countries give workers the longest paid holidays per year?
Learn all sorts of amazing facts in this 32-page book of charts and maps.

Recommended for inquisitive readers 10 years to 100 years old.

More titles in the Mapographica series:
The Human-Made Earth
The Natural World
Art, Culture, Sports