Tag Archives: Monique Gray Smith

My Heart Fills With Happiness

Written by: Monique Gray Smith

Illustrated by: Julie Flett

For Ages: Infant and Up

Language: Bilingual-English and Plains Cree; English.

Topics Covered: Indigenous Voices, First Nations, Happiness, Family, Community, Culture,  Love.

Summary: This adorable board book celebrates happiness and the little things in life.  Baking bread, walking in the grass, drumming on the lap of a family member, and dancing.  The end invites the reader and audience to think about what fills their heart with happiness, and encourages joy in all aspects of life.  This book is light, positive, and celebratory.  The illustrations show happy faces and cultural elements of Indigenous life-dancing, drumming, watching narwhals from the shore.  A simple book for early readers, and a quick bedtime story.

Reflection Questions:

  • What makes you happy?
  • Who in your life fills your heart with happiness?
  • Who in your life do YOU want to make happy?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Draw a picture of the things that make you happy.  Are there people in the picture? Could you draw a picture of you both doing something that makes you both happy? Do you think it would make them happy to receive the drawing?
  • Do something nice for someone in the community that makes you happy.  A phone call, visit, small gift, or good deed like bringing in their mail are all easy ideas for young children!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

c4-0502-smith-jpg

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twelve year old twins. She is an award winning author, international speaker and sought after consultant. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

 

julie flett

Julie Flett is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator, and artist. She has received many awards including the 2017 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her work on When We Were Alone by David Robertson (High Water Press), the 2016 American Indian Library Association Award for Best Picture Book for Little You by Richard Van Camp (Orca Books), and she is the three-time recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Award for Owls See Clearly at Night; A Michif Alphabet, by Julie Flett, Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki (Tradewind Books), and My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Books). Her own Wild Berries (Simply Read Books) was featured in The New York Times and included among Kirkus’s Best Children’s Books of 2013. Wild Berries was also chosen as Canada’s First Nation Communities Read title selection for 2014–2015.

You Hold Me Up

Written by: Monique Gray Smith

Illustrated by: Danielle Daniel

For Ages: 3-6 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Social-Emotional Learning, Family, Kindness, Community.

Summary: This book uses the title phrase “you hold me up” to speak about kind acts loved ones do for one another.  This book is great for young children to learn acts of kindness, and become introduced to what a caring community does for one another.  These tender illustrations by Daniel accompany sweet words about the importance respect, listening, comforting, and laughing.  The unique illustration style is simple and Daniel uses the cutest heart shapes for mouths, reinforcing the idea that love and holding others up can be done with kind words.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do your loved ones hold you up?
  • How do you hold others up?
  • What can we hold others up in our community every day?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Draw a picture of a time when someone held you up.  What were they doing?  How can we do that for others?
  • Write a list as a class of ways to help and hold others up that you don’t see very often.  No answer is too small!
  • What are some community members that may need some extra support?  Think about some ways you could hold them up, or some ways you could help that part of the community as a whole.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

c4-0502-smith-jpg

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twelve year old twins. She is an award winning author, international speaker and sought after consultant. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

 

danielle danielDanielle Daniel was born and raised in a mining town where nickel is golden. She wishes she could live in the depths of the forest— Swiss Family Robinson style, but winterized. She is haunted by the stories of her ancestors; the ones that exist within her DNA.  She was once an elementary school teacher but now she writes, paints and illustrates stories in her tiny studio. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book called: Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox (Groundwood Books), winner of the 2016 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (CCBC), finalist for the First Nation Communities Read Award, the 2017 Blue Spruce Award and one of NY Public Library’s Most Notable Titles in 2015. Her second children’s book, Once in a Blue Moonwas released fall 2017 (Groundwood Books). Her book, The Dependent A Memoir of Marriage & the Military  was published fall 2016,  (Latitude 46 Publishing)  shortlisted for the 2017 Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award. She is currently working on two novels; one for adults and one for children. She has a B.A Arts, B.A.Ed, and she is currently an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She is Métis and she lives in Sudbury Ontario Canada, the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg, with her husband Steve, son Owen and their dogs Frodo and Suzie.