Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

With meaningful, intentional text and beautiful, well-paced illustrations, Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life shares important life lessons and valuable history. 

This book is a great read with an appeal to both children and adults- I can see it being used at home and at school. A glossary at the back with an explanation of how Nakota was used in the book offers even more educational usage. I'd love to see educator materials for discussion shared with this series as well!

I can't wait to see it on shelves in 2020!
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Absolutely adorable book about a boy taking a walk with his mother and learning some valuable life lessons. Written clear enough for 2nd or 3rd graders and up, the lessons are straight forward and deep reaching.
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Thank you to HighWater Press for granting me My Wish on NetGalley to read and review this for you. I humbly appreciate this experience.

Charlene and Wilson Bearhead did yet again, another outstanding job in inspiring and teaching us more about Siha Tooskin and his family, and the ways of their Nakota people. Through the ways of Ena Makoochay (Mother Earth), and the Creator, who teaches them. More fantastic illustrations from Chloe Bluebird Mustooch.

Siha's Ena (Mum) takes him for a walk through the forest and down to the creek, and teaches him about the interconnectedness of all life. And how being generous is an important way of their peoples. How they share this generosity even with their non-Indigenous brothers and sisters. For all peoples on Ena Makoochay, are family. Deserving of love and kindness.

A huge thank you to the Bearhead's for sharing their culture with us, bit by bit, in the eye's of 11yo Paul. Truly wonderful. To Chloe for making the story come alive in her illustrations.
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This is a great story where a young boy learns about his culture.  The author does a great job of touching on heavy topics that youth can understand.  This was a fun, sweet and happy story.  Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review it.  I cannot wait to add it to my collection.
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"Siha Tooskin Knows the Nature of Life" is a wonderful addition to the Siha Tooskin Knows series! In it, Paul (Siha Tooskin) goes with his mom (Ena) to learn about and from the forest. Paul and his mom talk about the importance of sharing, respect for animals and rocks, and the impact of colonization. I really enjoyed how Ena discusses how interconnected the world is and the strength of the Nakota people. 

While this is a children's book, it is certainly appealing to older groups as well! There is lots of interesting information and everyone could do with being reminded that knowledge is not limited to one gender!

Chloe Bluebird Mustooch's illustrations enhance the experience of Charlene and Wilson Bearhead's words as well as clarify ideas that readers could be unfamiliar with. 

Truly an educational masterpiece!
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“We thrive because we have the gift of our ways that teach us to stay positive, to be strong, and to always find the path to live in a good way with all of creation...” “...through our ways is the strength to always remain kind and generous. Never give in and let yourself be forced to change into someone you are not.” A great book for children and adults alike to learn the basic fundamentals of Native American tradition and beliefs with subtle references to inner and community strength, kindness to others, and humble humility as noted in the mindful thoughts of Paul as he reflects on family dynamics and his own behavior throughout the book. 

Through Paul’s thoughts and the walk he takes with his mother we go on a journey too, of Native American faith and tradition, which at the core of the book centers upon the theme that we can learn from everyone or everything, from our elders, to our siblings, and also the rocks and trees and animals. 

The book, teaches and reminds us (not just children) to be grateful and generous. To listen and be respectful and in return wisdom and knowledge just may well be passed down to you, if you are open to the experience. Grad school is like this - a stage of self learning and developing, taking what you have read to the next level and applying it. Books carry important messages and the power of the written word and the knowledge contained within is not measured by the price paid or the reading level. 

The artwork is simple, yet beautiful. I love that you can see the strokes of the pencil and the watercolor purposefully blends over. I was also drawn to the size of their eyes - which I saw to be symbolic that they are open to what wisdom and experiences they will encounter, and from Paul’s perspective, open to the wonderful of the moment.

Oftentimes I will assign a “children’s book” and students are surprised. I am an avid believer that if you cannot explain a concept to a child then you do not understand the concept fully yourself. For most adults they may not appreciate the simplicity of this book, but for those who do, parents, educators, librarians, or anyone who mentors children this is a wonderful series, and applicable in the right setting to share with other adults as well. The Nature of Life is a good candidate to read as a first assignment. From my perspective, the first rule of the classroom is to be respectful and listen when others are speaking. While they may not share the same thoughts or perspective, you may learning something new, and like this book, remind us what it is to be human, to have humanity, a powerful message. Inclusive of this, Paul realizes himself how much he has to learn, and with renewed awe the truth that his parents continue to learn each day.

The words contained in this book and its symbolism convey a much deeper message than the cover or synopsis can define.
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