When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanletakeron Fadden

Published by Lee and Low Books (Released May 5)

Amazon.com: When the Shadbush Blooms (9781582461922): Messinger ...

Native American Heritage Month Kid Lit Review of “When the ...

Summary:  Two girls from a Lenni Lenape tribe, Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister describe their lives with their families through the course of one year.  Each illustration has the name of a moon, with the Lenape name on the left and the English name on the right.  The Traditional Sister and her family are portrayed on the left of each illustration and the Contemporary family on the right, showing them as they move through the seasons, growing and harvesting crops.  The last few pages give additional information on the history of the Lenni Lenape people, who lived in what is now the Mid-Atlantic states, as well as some of the cultural features portrayed in the book.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This beautifully illustrated book portrays the Lenni Lenape culture as vibrant and living, tying the past to the present.  Readers will be able to connect with many of the activities the Contemporary Sister describes, while learning more about the Lenape history and culture.

Cons:  The format of the two families being portrayed side by side may be a little confusing to younger kids.

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