"We are a people who matter." Inspired by President Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing, Go Show the World is a tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes, featuring important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington.
Celebrating the stories of Indigenous people throughout time, Wab Kinew has created a powerful rap song, the lyrics of which are the basis for the text in this beautiful picture book, illustrated by the acclaimed Joe Morse. Including figures such as Crazy Horse, Net-no-kwa, former NASA astronaut John Herrington and Canadian NHL goalie Carey Price, Go Show the World showcases a diverse group of Indigenous people in the US and Canada, both the more well known and the not- so-widely recognized. Individually, their stories, though briefly touched on, are inspiring; collectively, they empower the reader with this message: "We are people who matter, yes, it's true; now let's show the world what people who matter can do."
In his uneven debut picture book, Kinew, a musician and leader of the New Democratic Party in Manitoba, Canada, spotlights 14 indigenous Americans and Canadians. Rhymed lines introduce each individual ("Net-no-kwa was a woman, / like most, a true warrior./ Strong and independent, fierce/ as any man before her"), and brief profiles further detail each person's accomplishments in back matter. Readers may be put off by some lines' simplistic rhyming and faltering meter ("It might be tough now but you will be something./ Before you leave, my son, I wanna tell you one thing"). And the profiles' order, which varies from the text's, may frustrate those flipping back and forth for more information. But in this glimpse into the lives of several indigenous heroes, Kinew, a member of the Midewin and an honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, underlines the key idea that "we are people who matter./ Yes, it's true./ Now let's show the world what people who matter can do." Mixed-media art by Morse (Play Ball, Jackie!) features a cool palette and crisp, evocative portraits of those showcased and their surroundings. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 1-3—With sweeping portrait-style illustrations, this picture book poem introduces a wide range of historical and contemporary Indigenous figures. Kinew, a Canadian Ojibwa songwriter and politician, explains in an author's note that he wanted to write a book to let Native children know their worth and potential. The text has the feel of a song, with a repeated refrain of "You're a person who matters/Yes, it's true./Now go show the world what a person who matters can do." Kinew profiles his subjects briefly, and Morse's watercolor, digital, and collage illustrations provide contextual support, each realistic portrait depicting the subject in action within a specific setting. Many of the individuals highlighted will be more familiar to Canadian than to U.S. audiences, and most readers will need to refer to the appendix for more substantial biographical information. Morse's paintings are striking and full of movement. However, he depicts a wide range of historical periods, geographic locations, and Indigenous cultures that are not described; Morse doesn't provide sources for the traditional dress, symbols, and ceremonial objects seen in many of his paintings, nor are the tribes explicitly named. VERDICT A stirring, if uneven, lyric tribute to Indigenous heroes past and present. Medium to large collections may want to consider.—Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MNCopyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.