Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome – Owlkids

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Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome

By Nancy Cooper and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

From 3 to 7 | 32 pages

Busy beavers have a family reunion in this story that celebrates Indigenous perspectives

It’s a special day for Amik the beaver and her little sister, Nishiime. Their cousins are coming to visit! Amik is excited, but Nishiime feels nervous about meeting new people, and when the cousins finally arrive, Nishiime disappears.

Lively, immersive illustrations show Amik and her cousins as they search the woods for Nishiime. Each creature they encounter, introduced to readers using their Anishinaabe names, reveals how beavers help the forest community. A fish thanks them for digging canals in the mud that they swim through. A deer thanks the beavers for cutting down trees so they can reach the tastiest leaves. None of the creatures have seen Nishiime, but keen-eyed kids will have spotted her hiding in the background throughout the story.

Eventually, Nishiime returns to the group, having overcome her shyness by learning an important lesson: despite being from different places, the beavers are all united by the ways they support the forest ecosystem. With the perfect blend of fact and fun, this salute to the industrious beaver is also an energetic celebration of Indigenous perspectives, languages, and diversity.

Nancy Cooper, Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

"A vibrant work laden with messages, from accepting differences to fostering respect for the natural world."

- Kirkus Reviews

"The illustrations provide joyful scenes of the beavers’ gathering, giving each one a personality and style. Crayon bright and full of small lessons of hospitality, vocabulary, and adventure, this sweet story belongs on family shelves as well as among Indigenous collections."

- School Library Journal

"In a story about diversity and acceptance of differences, Nancy Cooper also reminds us of the interrelationship of living things ... Biindigen! Amik Says Welcome is a fresh picture book in language and art, and its messages about acceptance and gratitude will make it a welcome addition to any bookshelf."

- CanLit for Little Canadians
FOLD Kids Book-of-the-Month, 2023

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