Picture This…

In this first word book for the very young, the simple format and primitive-style paintings invite children to participate. Watchful readers will note that each turn of a page reveals a new perspective on what has come before–and what’s to follow. The effect invites imaginative storytelling. Full color.

Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines

For thousands of years, Inuit women practised the traditional art of tattooing. Created with bone needles and caribou sinew soaked in seal oil or soot, these tattoos were an important tradition for many women, symbols stitched in their skin that connected them to their families and communities. But with the rise of missionaries and residential schools in the North, the tradition of tattooing was almost lost. In 2005, when Angela Hovak Johnston heard that the last Inuk woman tattooed in the traditional way had died, she set out to tattoo herself and learn how to tattoo others. What was at first a personal quest became a project to bring the art of traditional tattooing back to Inuit women across Nunavut, starting in the community of Kugluktuk. Collected in this beautiful book are moving photos and stories from more than two dozen women who participated in Johnston’s project. Together, these women are reawakening their ancestors’ lines and sharing this knowledge with future generations.

The Amazing Watercolor Fish/El Asombroso Pez Acuarela

A lonely pet fish longs to know what exists in the world beyond her bowl. “I wish I could see over there / Behind the wall, / Behind the chair.” She imagines a giant tree, a wooly goat and a purple sea. She wonders if there could be someone out there who looks like her, so she leans close to the glass and hears some fish-like cries! “Hello? Is someone there?” she hears. “Are you a bird? / Are you a bee? Or are you a fish with fins like me?” She realizes there’s another fish close by and his name is Mike! When Mike asks what her world is like, the amazing watercolor fish has a great idea. “I ll show Mike what I think could be!” Using watercolors, she paints a picture of a world with trees and swirling rainbows. Every day she paints more, “birds that swim, / ships with wings, / and books that do all sorts of things!” Then Mike uses his paint to illustrate more than just the water and the door.

Uncle Holland

When Holland is arrested for the thirty-seventh time for stealing beautiful things, he must make a very difficult decision. A police officer says that he must either go to jail or become a soldier. He chooses to join the army and is sent south, where he finds himself surrounded by beautiful things: palm trees, parrots, flowers and big blue waves…and fish! Holland starts painting pictures of the fish, which he sells at the market on the weekend. Soon, he has money to send home to his parents. They are worried that he’s gone back to his stealing ways, so his father writes to ask if he earned the money honestly. Holland writes back to reassure him that he has decided to paint instead of steal because “not everything that’s pretty can be stuffed in your pockets!” Based on a true story about JonArno Lawson’s uncle, and accompanied by Natalie Nelson’s collage illustrations, this quirky picture book is about making choices – and art.