Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance
(Siha Tooskin Knows series)
by Charlene Bearhead, Willson Bearhead, illustrated by Chloe Bluebird Mustooch
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 26 May 2020 | Archive Date 26 Feb 2020
Portage & Main Press, HighWater Press
Thundering drums, rattling hooves, clinking jingles—come along with Paul, Jeff, and Uncle Lenard to the powwow!
Paul Wahasaypa—Siha Tooskin—has invited his friend, Jeff, to a powwow. It’s Jeff’s very first powwow, and is he ever nervous! What if he says or does the wrong thing? Grass dancers, Fancy Shawl dancers, Chicken dancers—what does it all mean? Follow along as Jeff learns all about the dances and their beautiful traditions. See you at the powwow!
The Siha Tooskin Knows series uses vivid narratives and dazzling illustrations in contemporary settings to share stories about an 11-year-old Nakota boy.
A Note From the Publisher
for grade 3–6 (an early chapter book)
Charlene and Wilson have managed to capture the waves of excitement and anxiousness that come with dancing in a powwow. Their storytelling honours the dances and the community that forms around these events. They do not shy away from the negative history of colonization, but do so gently as a means of reinforcing why powwows are so important to our people. Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance, with its words and illustrations, is a love letter to our family, culture, resilience, and pride.
—Tanya Talaga, journalist and author
National and regional publicity and advertising campaigns
Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
National and regional publicity and advertising campaigns
Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 18 members
"Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance" is absolutely wonderful and I have such respect for the authors Charlene & Wilson Bearhead (Nakota) and Chloe Bluebird Mustooch (Nakota) in creating such a beautiful piece! The text and illustrations match together perfectly as well as creating such a positive learning atmosphere! This book was a genuine joy to read and the excitement of Paul (Siha Tooskin), his Uncle Lenard, and Paul's non-Indigenous friend Jeff put a huge smile on my face. This wonderful story is about Paul taking Jeff to his first powwow and Jeff learning how to appreciate and understand what a powwow is while also being worried that he will accidentally say something offensive. Jeff learns about the laws in Canada intended to restrict Indigenous activities such as powwows and he is visibly shaken-- not understanding how something so beautiful could be punished. This is such an important message and was handled so well. "Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance" is a book for all ages that encourages readers to learn more about Indigenous groups and terms that are unfamiliar (the book has a glossary at the back). I am so excited to see that this is a series and I have so much more research to do based on the issues and traditions that the book discusses. This is a book that is very much needed in Canada (although not just Canada) and I cannot articulate enough how much I enjoyed it and how much it will be with me in future. Truly, Charlene Bearhead, Wilson Bearhead, and Chloe Bluebird Mustooch deserve several awards for this book.
Another beautiful title from Charlene and Wilson Bearhead with illustrator Chloe Bluebird Mustooch. I am a big fan of of Chloe’s style and the beautiful, bright colors in The Love of the Dance are not to be missed! The dancers outfits and colors stand out in her style or design and use of color. This series is becoming a favorite of mine as it introduces the young reader to the basics of Native American tradition and the importance of the culture and how it remains strong still today. In my review of the Shia Tooskin Knows The Nature of Life (my first introduction to the series) I noted in the illustrations the “big eyes” and symbolism of being open to learning, taking in the knowledge and wisdom of the people and environment surrounding the characters. I was delighted to see my interpretation was spot on, and a theme in the series. Not to give too much away, but they make reference to, and provide the Nakota word for it! I enjoyed reading The Love of the Dance from Jeff’s perspective as an observer of powwow with limited knowledge of the culture. The experience is nicely tailored for young readers and supported by the illustrator’s beautiful representations. As an adult, avid reader and educator I can say I knew much of the information in the book, but for young readers the content is perfect to pique the natural curiosity and encourage further reading. If you know a bit about Native American culture and tradition young readers can learn a lot about clans as well. The books covers several traditional dances at the powwow but paying particular attention to the medicine dance, which historically was passed on by right to the healers. The Bear Clan were known as the healers. The book mentions that Paul’s last name is Wahasaypa, identified in the glossary as “bear head.” The subtle information one can find within this delightful and quick read makes The Love of the Dance a terrific read for young readers and adults alike. I highly recommend the Shia Tooskin Knows series to parents and educators looking to introduce young readers to the genre. For the curious, there are plenty of books to expand upon their multicultural interest!
"Siha Tooskin Knows The Love of the Dance" is truly a suitable title for this story. Two young friends participate in a pow-wow and learn the meaning of the ceremony and the different dances. The story presents the information in an enjoyable format that young readers should find interesting, as the story moves forward at a quick pace. The color illustrations remind the reader of drawings that a child might create, adding to the appeal of the book. Having attended pow-wows in the past, I was immediately drawn in to the story. I found myself nodding and thinking, "This is just how it is!" The sound of the drums calling the dancers resounded in my mind as I read the story and remembered my participation in the intertribal dances! The authors accurately captured the sights and sounds of the event, as well as the descriptions of the attire worn by the dancers and the meanings of the attire. The ceremony is at all times treated with respect in this book. Young readers who are not familiar with the pow-wow should find this story both informative and captivating. I hope they will share the story with their parents. I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
I loved this story. Siha Tooskin Knows the Love of the Dance is a beautiful story about friendship and curiosity. I loved the way this story explains powwows and the importance of each type of dancer. In this story, Jeff goes to the powwow with Siha Tooskin. and gets to learn and experience something so special. Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this story.
A beautiful story about the pow wow. Seen through the eyes of a friend of an indigenous boy. I loved how this story explains the history of the pow wow and the dances. The images showing the regalia was simple and beautiful. The sense of wonder and belonging in this story was so beautiful and I learned a lot about the pow wow and the people who celebrate and dance. I noticed also that there are more books in this series and I am excited to read them all.
I read this to my Bear Scout den and the boys really liked it. They enjoyed learning about the different types of dancers and what goes on during a traditional Pow Wow. It was educational and the images are bright and colorful. Their attention did waiver sometimes but I thought overall, it was a good book!! Very informational.
Thank you to HighWater Press for granting me My Wish on NetGalley to read and review this for you. I humbly appreciate this experience. We are taken to a PowWow, and experience it through the eyes of Siha Tooskin's (Paul Wasahaypa) friend from school, Jeff. Jeff is extremely grateful to Paul and his Uncle Leonard for taking him to the PowWow and learning all about the dances, and minor differences between certain ones. Jeff also learns that at one point PowWows were considered illegal in Canada. And Jeff is left amazed by that statement. As something as beautiful as a PowWow should never be illegal. (The kid's got a point.) This is a book in a series of books in which we learn about Siha Tooskin and his Nakoda culture. And I look forward to reading them. My only nitpick about this book is simply it was too short. I could have read about this story all day. :)
Siha Tooskin (Paul) is an 11 year old Nakota boy. This series helps us understand what his life is like. Jeff, his new non indigenous friend is accompanying Paul and his Uncle Lenard to a powwow. It’s Jeff's first time and he’s excited to be seeing everything Paul has told him about. Paul and Uncle Lenard are both dancers. In this book Jeff and readers learn about the history of the powwow and the different kinds of dances. There is a lot to love about this book. I liked that Jeff and Paul were responsible and worked together to set up their camp and Jeff was mindful that Paul needed to get into his regalia so he finished up this chore. I liked the camaraderie and joking between all of them. I appreciated that Jeff and other non indigenous readers learn about a time in history when powwows, potlatches and other indigenous gatherings were outlawed. Like Jeff I was fascinated by how the different dances have been adopted from different places and how they have evolved over time. I was a bit surprised by this book because given the number of pages, I expected it to be a picture book. Instead it’s an illustrated short story. It’s a bit didactic (to me at least,) but I’m ok with that because I doubt student readers will be as cognizant of this. Chloe Bluebird Mustooch’s illustrations are bright and colourful. I have mixed feelings about the cartoon eyes, especially after looking at her portfolio on line. Her more realistic art is absolutely stunning. I hope to see this series of books in every school library across Canada. Not only will they be integral to understanding indigenous perspectives, the short length will make them satisfying for reluctant readers. After reading this book I am especially looking forward to attending Hoobiyee 2020 this coming February. I will understand the dancing much better!
Very informative regarding the traditions and customs of the costumes and dancing styles. I enjoyed learning the meanings of the dances.
Beautiful illustrations barely do justice to a lovely story of a child sharing the powwow experience with a friend from school. This book is endearing and educational all in one.
Thanks to NetGalley and Portage and Main Press for allowing me to read an ARC of this book. I was attracted to it as a short, chapter book written by an Indigenous writer from Canada. I don't find many books that fit that description for my library. Siha Toosklin (also known as Paul in this story) seems to be the main character of this series (which looks like it will have 8 books in it) which looks like an early chapter series. But this book, to me, reads more like narrative non-fiction in which Paul brings a friend to a Powwow and teaches him about different types of dancing, and about various other elements of the Powwow. Paul's friend Jeff is very eager to learn, and Paul's Uncle Leonard is able to explain much as both a participant in the event and a caregiver. Running at about 45 pages, with some pages containing half or a whole page of illustrations, this would be a fairly easy read for late primary and early intermediate students. Indigenous students at my school are mostly familiar with powwows and might enjoy seeing their culture reflected in a book. Schools in my district attend at least one powwow a year, and this book would help some to learn more about what is happening as we don't have an Uncle Leonard figure to be there with us. With both these goals in mind, I will look at purchasing these for my school library (once I get some funding again in September).
Siha Tooskin Knows The Love of the Dance is a delightful book! All about bringing a friend, Jeff, to a powwow, to see the dancers, regalia, culture, boys, girls, all leaning toward an exciting event called "Grand Entry". . . Jeff is immersed in the culture of his friend Paul Wahasaypa and Paul's Uncle Lenard who carefully, gently teaches Jeff (and I was sitting right there next to him) as he asks questions and doesn't ask questions. But Uncle Lenard figures out what Jeff isn't asking, and answers those questions, too. Absolutely delightful. I felt included, as a grown-up! I can only imagine how a new reader would feel - welcomed and learning new things. The illustrations are lovely and bright, showing key moments from the narrative. Respectful and full of detail, they show engaged dancers, big-eyed Jeff, examples of types of dance and it is done with mixed media that creates a sense of dimension. Very inviting. 4 Fancy Bustle dancing stars! This would be a great book for early grade schoolers to check out (or their parents if that is who the family book buyers are ;) ) A sincere thanks to Charlene and Wilson Bearhead, and Chloe Bluebird Mustooch, Highwater Press and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Paul Wahasaypa, also known as Siha Tooskin—a Nakota boy in Canada invites his friend Jeff to a powwow. Paul, an old hand at powwow dancing can’t wait to share his culture and heritage with Jeff. Jeff worries that he’ll say or do something he shouldn’t because he’s never attended a powwow before. Young readers and middle-grade students will love the bright illustrations and relate with either of the main characters. If the reader comes from a Native or First Nations background, the reader will love seeing Native culture highlighted. If the reader comes from a different culture, the reader will enjoy learning more about what happens at a powwow and the history and significance of powwows and the dances. Librarians, teachers, and parents should purchase this series to help enrich their (and their students’) understanding of another culture.