Robert Munsch’s new book features Algonquin language
Doha Hanno, Special to CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2019 3:25PM EST
Little Donovan doesn’t want eggs, French toast or cereal for breakfast—he wants bear meat.
Renowned children’s author Robert Munsch has partnered with illustrator Jay Odjick for a new book that came out Monday, titled “Bear for Breakfast,” which is available in either English/Algonquin or French/Algonquin duo editions.
“Bear for Breakfast” came after Munsch spoke to a child named Donovan from a Chippewan community in La Loche, Sask. who said that he wanted to eat bear meat for breakfast just like his grandfather used to.
The main character in the book, also named Donovan, goes on a quest to search for a bear to eat but things don’t work out as planned.
Odjick, a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, told CTV’s Your Morning that it’s important for First Nations youth to see themselves represented in content in order to preserve the culture.
Odjick is also the creator of the “Algonquin Word of the Day” campaign on Twitter, which is a series of digital flash cards illustrating Algonquin words and their English translation using drawings.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Dec. 6, 2016, that Canada will enact an Indigenous Languages Act co-developed with Indigenous people that will support efforts to recover, reclaim, revitalize, maintain and normalize First Nations languages in Canada.
Odjick says that the availability of children’s books in First Nations languages provides educators with the resources they need to teach people, both on and off reserves, about the dying languages.
Munsch and Odjick published another book together in 2017 called “Blackflies,” which also features First Nations characters and illustrations.