We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Author: Traci Sorell
Illustrator: Frané Lessac
Published September 4, 2018 by Charlesbridge Publishing
Summary: A look at modern Native American life as told by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation
The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences.
Appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah
Review: This beautiful book makes for a wonderful read-aloud. I loved the repetition and the different things to be grateful for. The images are captivating, and I found myself slowing down as I read and turned each page. The seasons shift through the text, which offers great opportunities for discussion. Indigenous people are often perceived to be people of the past, but this book demonstrates that they are living, breathing people. The culture is very much alive. I’ll be gifting this book to several friends with young children.
Teacher’s Tool For Navigation: Students might list the different things that they are grateful for and draw accompanying pictures. It offers great opportunities for discussing how Native people still exists and are not relics of the past, reserved for discussions on Thanksgiving day.
We Flagged: “…while we collect buckbrush and honeysuckle to weave baskets.”
Read This If You Loved: The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz; Dreamers by Yuyi Morales; The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
**Thank you, Donna, from Charlesbridge Publishing for sending a copy for review!**