On Saturday I went to the book launch of Nanabosho and the Butterflies by husband and wife duo Joe & Matrine McLellan. The book launch was held at McNally Robinson in Grant Park, where about 10-15 people showed up for Joe McLellan’s reading.
Nanabosho and the Butterflies is the 11th book in the Nanabosho series, which explores the Anishinabe (or Ojibwa) people and their history.
Nanabosho and the Butterflies is a story about the creation of butterflies. Nanabosho, a young boy, meets a pair of twins and their mother. Hearing the twins cry, Nanabosho tries to stop their tears, but their mother tells him not to help her children. Nanabosho asks why and the mother says that the twins have many brothers and sisters who do everything for them. And because of that, the twins have not learned to do anything for themselves. Nanabosho thinks for a moment and comes up with a solution: he paints some leaves and places them on a blanket. He rustles the leaves and they flutter upwards and turn into beautiful butterflies, the twins running after the butterflies in chase; this is how the twins learn to walk. The story ending with the butterflies creation.
The story is accompanied by beautiful pictures done by Jackie Traverse, a former student of Joe McLellan`s.
Throughout the children’s book, McLellan also used Anishinabe words in a Dora the Explorer way, to help children learn the language. At the reading, McLellan discussed how important it is to keep the Anishinabe language alive through story telling; Aboriginal children not hearing the stories of their people anymore. McLellan hoping that his books will help keep the language alive.
|The author Joe McLellan|