Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes

by Wab Kinew (Author) Joe Morse (Illustrator)

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

"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."

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Publishers Weekly

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.

School Library Journal

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, MN

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

One of New York Public Library's Best Books for Kids 2018
One of Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Book Covers of 2018
One of Montreal Gazette's Best Books to Give Kids for the Holidays
One of The Colours of Us' 50 Best Multicultural Books

PRAISE FOR Go Show the World

"This book is inspiring for all children in showing us how these heroes have triumphed over adversity, and is highly recommended to have at home and in the library." —Highly Recommended, Canadian Children's Book News

"It is a call to action and a message of hope for the Indigenous community, as well as a lesson to all readers of the valuable contributions made by American and Canadian Indigenous peoples. . . . This book is highly recommended for personal, school and private libraries." —Highly Recommended, Resource Links

"Kinew quashes stereotypes and provides readers with both historical and contemporary examples of diverse American and Canadian Indigenous leaders. . . . Go Show the World, a powerful and uplifting book, belongs in every school library." —CM Magazine

"The book's message, repeated throughout, still resonates." —Booklist

A beautiful celebration of Indigenous excellence. —Kirkus Reviews

The reverberation of the central theme—you matter—and the gorgeous illustrations will resonate with readers —School Library Connection

"Kinew . . . 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." —Publishers Weekly

"This is a forever book; one that the child can grow with from the youngest age[.]"—Windspeaker

"[H]ighlights true stories relevant to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth, showing examples of strength and resilience, overcoming adversity, pride, and success to inspire children of all backgrounds." —Teacher Librarian
Wab Kinew
WAB KINEW is the bestselling, award-winning author of Go Show the World and The Reason You Walk. An Honourary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and a follower of the Anishinaabe way of life, he is a former journalist, hip-hop artist and television host who was named by Postmedia News as one of "9 Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know." Kinew lives in Winnipeg with his family. This is his first picture book.

Twitter: @wabkinew 56.9K followers

JOE MORSE is an artist living in Toronto, Ontario. Known for his portraits of celebrities and sports stars, his work has been commissioned by Universal Pictures, Nike, Major League Baseball, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and The Guardian, and has won over 200 international awards. The picture books he has illustrated include Casey at the Bat, which was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration; Play Ball Jackie! and Hoop Genius. He is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Illustration program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.

Twitter: @joemorsedraws 498 followers
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Tundra Books (NY)
Publication date
September 20, 2018
BISAC categories
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
JUV004000 - Juvenile Fiction | Biographical | General
JUV030090 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | Canada - Native Canadian
Library of Congress categories
Indians of North America
Children's songs

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