Play Ideas

17 Heartwarming Children’s Books by Indigenous Authors & Illustrators

June 7, 2023
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

BridgeWay staff have read and reflected on some children’s books by Indigenous authors and/or illustrators. Below is a list of books and what stood out to each staff member as they read through the story on their own or with children and families.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do! Even more books are listed below at the bottom of this page.

The Eagle Feather

Written by Kevin Locke, illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner

“In this simply written, colorful little book, I loved learning about a family who saw an eagle flying overhead and how its feather could inspire them to be kind and brave. After reading the book, the eagle and his feather left good feelings in my heart. Let’s go outside with the children, look at the sky, look at a feather on the ground or something that can inspire us and our families.” – BridgeWay Staff

Find out more about:

My Heart Fills with Happiness

Written by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett

“After reading this story in program, I asked the question, ‘What fills your heart with happiness?’ I love hearing the children’s responses; all so different and from the heart. One of my favourite answers has been, ‘when I come here [to the centre] and see all my friends.’” – BridgeWay Staff

Read along here:

Find out more about:

Good Morning World

Written by Paul Windsor, Haisla, Heiltsuk

“We read the story in program, the families pointed out the animals, insects and sun on each page. One of the moms flapped her arms (like wings) as we were reading, so we started to act out the actions or noises to match the illustration on each page! I loved how the children connected to the story through the animals.” – BridgeWay Staff

You can read Good Morning World here:

Find out more about author and illustrator Paul Windsor.

I Sang You Down from the Stars

Written by Tasha Spillett- Sumner, illustrated by Michaela Goade

“Beautifully illustrated, it speaks of the anticipation of expecting a new baby and the bond between a mother and her child. I love this book because of the nostalgia it fills me with, when I think back to when I was an expectant mother. The mother in the story collects items for a sacred bundle, items that will bring the baby strength and connection to tradition, their family and community.” – BridgeWay Staff

Read along here:

Find out more about:

nipakosêyimon / I Hope

Written by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

“I opened this book with great excitement and ‘hope’. I am familiar with other books by the author and really like them. It is a beautifully illustrated story with various cultures and characters of different ages shown in many beautiful outdoor settings. The story is full of hopes that an adult has for the child in their lives. It is very moving.” – BridgeWay Staff

Monique Gray Smith tells us more about this book in the video below:

Find out more about:

Little You

Written by Richard Van Camp, illustrated by Julie Flett

“It was nice to read a rhyming book and enjoy the large pictures in it, which reminded me of my childhood and the feelings of love and care I received from my family. The book also made me think about how good feelings affect our lives. The more good feelings we get, the more we like to share them with the world.” – BridgeWay Staff

Read along to Little You, here:

Find out more about:

More books to explore!

  • It’s a MiTig! By Bridget George
  • We Learn from the Sun by David Bouchard
  • Discovering Animals by Neepin Auger
  • Book of Play! With Northwest Coast Native Art
  • Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk
  • Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard
  • One Eagle Soaring by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel
  • We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp
  • We All Play by Julie Flett
  • You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith

Did you know?

Our partners from The Indigenous Network visit EarlyON Centres to facilitate Journey Together! This program focuses on Indigenous teachings and cultures. Learn more here!

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