Saturday, October 7, 2017

Book review: "Gifts of the Dineh"

In honor of Indigenous People's Day (October 9th), I  decided to review a children's book that shares the culture and history of indigenous people.  

The book "Gifts of the Dineh" (cover seen on the left) is written by Barbara Simons, and illustrated by Marla Bagetta. It is the story of a sister and brother who visit their grandparents on an reservation.  While there, they meet other family, eat new food and learn about the language and traditions of their elders.

The greatest part for me was reading how the grandmother spiritually connected to all the other grandmothers from the past when making the rug (shown on cover) that she could see in her mind.

'Dineh' (dih-NAY) means 'the people' in the Navajo language.  This book is a great introduction for children to the current reality of Native American people in the United States.  It also allows for an easier conversation for parents with their children about the past.   For teachers the book gives great examples of indigenous culture. The book is 16 pages with great illustrations and I really enjoyed reading the book because it did not humiliate or dehumanize the Dineh.  I recommend this book.