When The Trees Crackle With Cold: A Cree Calendar by Bernice Johnson-LaxdalWhen The Trees Crackle With Cold: A Cree Calendar by Bernice Johnson-Laxdal

When The Trees Crackle With Cold: A Cree Calendar

byBernice Johnson-Laxdal, Miriam KörnerIllustratorMiriam Körner

Picture Books | November 18, 2016

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A bear sleeping safely in her den, Kohkom telling a story by the fire, the trees crackling with cold—we are all connected to the seasons and the cycle of nature. The calming rhythm of the words echoes the rhythm of the land in this timeless picture book about the moon calendar of the northern Cree, and its warmly rendered watercolour illustrations bring Saskatchewan’s north to life. When the Trees Crackle with Cold is written in English and the northern Plains Cree y-dialect, inviting Cree and non-Cree speakers alike to explore the traditional moon calendar.
Bernice Johnson-Laxdal is a Cree language and culture teacher with over twenty years of teaching experience. Bernice enjoys cooking, going on canoe trips in summer and cross-country skiing in winter. Originally from Ile-a-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, she now lives at Potato Lake and teaches in La Ronge.Miriam Körner a writer, illustrator a...
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Title:When The Trees Crackle With Cold: A Cree CalendarFormat:Picture BooksDimensions:32 pages, 9 × 9 × 0.31 inPublished:November 18, 2016Publisher:Your Nickel's Worth PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1927756847

ISBN - 13:9781927756843

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar: Pîsimwasinahikan is a special book that documents the author’s memories of moon of the Cree Calendar. Following the cycle of nature and the changing of the seasons, Johnson-Laxdal provides a glimpse into the Cree culture, signifying the importance of acknowledging where one comes from and the ability to look back as part of who you are. There are twelve moons in the Cree calendar, divided into six seasons (winter, spring, break-up, summer, fall and freeze-up). The Cree culture values the importance of nature and being in harmony with it. When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar: Pîsimwasinahikan highlights that importance on every page in the book. Each moon is closely linked with activities of that time of year (e.g. April moon -“we prepare the garden for the new growing season”). The text is dual language in the areas of the moon’s name (e.g. Frog Moon - ayîkipîsim) as well as the activity of the period of that moon (e.g. we prepare the garden - nimâcikistikân. In addition to the moon pronunciation guide there is other help with the Cree language in the end pages in the form of a consonants & vowels page, and a chart of the six seasons (in English and Cree) page; these are very helpful aspects of the book for non-Cree readers. The introduction and acknowledgments also provide information on the Cree calendar and language in addition to some biographical notes about the author. This introduction also tells the reader that there are three dialects in the Cree language that are spoken in Northern Saskatchewan and how the author selected the y-dialect (Northern Plains) for her book, in accordance with the dialect Johnson-Laxdal spoke in her hometown. Hence, the author’s background plays a significant role in the writing of this book.Any successful picture book requires illustrations that help tell the story, the message intended by the author. Körner’s watercolour artwork brings Saskatchewan’s nature and Cree culture to life. The vibrant colours and simple drawings enhance nature on each page, bringing the scenes to life for the reader. The lush and rich outdoor images provide the reader with a true picture of northern life, creating rural imagery that may be unknown to children from urban towns and cities. The nature scenes bring the remote wilderness to life, solidifying the connection between the land and the Cree culture. Each picture is so detailed that one can only let the imagination wander with a “being there” feeling, often hints at multiple views of each page. This delightful and informative picture book is aimed for children, but other age groups will find its content very rewarding as well. When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar: Pîsimwasinahikan is a glimpse at northern life through its moon calendar, particularly the Cree language and culture. This book will also make the reader “think” about nature, moons, and calendars that affect his/her world., something often taken for granted in western culture. When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar: Pîsimwasinahikan resonates the importance of one’s connection to nature and maybe even the lack of understanding of its value. Although the book is aimed at the early years, for both public and school libraries, When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar: Pîsimwasinahikan could be a heart-warming lesson for secondary schools where courses on First Nations culture exist. Thematic Links: Cree Language & Culture; Northern Life; Calendars; Moons--Carmelita Cechetto-Shea, Resource Links, Vol. 22, No. 3.