Awasis and the World-Famous Bannock

Category: Book
By (author): Hunt, Dallas
Illustrated By: Strong, Amanda
Series: The Debwe
Subject:  JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / General
  JUVENILE FICTION / Cooking & Food
  JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
Publisher: Portage & Main Press
Published: March 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 28
Size: 9.00in x 9.00in x 0.31in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*During an unfortunate mishap, young Awâsis loses Kôhkum's freshly baked world-famous bannock. Not knowing what to do, Awâsis seeks out a variety of other-than-human relatives willing to help. What adventures are in store for Awâsis?
From The Publisher*This whimsical story celebrates the revitalization of Cree dialects and traditional methods of storytelling.

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock highlights the importance of collaboration and seeking guidance from one's community, while introducing the Cree words for different animals and baking ingredients
Review Quote*I'm going to shout about this book to friends and colleagues in children's literature. Published in 2018 by Highwater Press, Awâsis and the World Famous Bannock by Dallas Hunt and Amanda Strong is highly recommended!
Review Quote*

Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock is another sweet and charming picture book coming from HighWater Press, one of my personal favourite publishers. I believe that this is Dallas Hunt's first book, but after reading this I would certainly read anything he put out in the future. I would also be willing to read anything illustrated by Amanda Strong, as her work here is lovely.

The story here is a unique interpretation of the "Red Riding Hood" fairy tale, with Awâsis losing bannock that she tries to replace with the help of animal friends, only to find herself collecting replacement ingredients instead. The story is sweet, but the language aspects here really shine, with Cree words and phrases being used on every page, many of them being identifiable by context or by the accompanying illustrations. The words and phrases have a translation and pronunciation guide in the back, which is extremely helpful for anyone unfamiliar or unfluent in the language. I thought the recipe included was a nice touch, and it appears to be easy to follow.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a solid Red Riding Hood retelling for kids, and to anyone (child or adult) interested in learning Cree or practicing Cree language skills. It is also simply a colourful and sweet story for anyone looking for a story to read with children in need of a good book.

Review Quote*

When this book first started, I knew it would have some Cree words in it, and the use of the language was what drew me to it. Also, I really like bannock.

It looked like it was going to be a Red Riding Hood parody at first, but once the bannock was misplaced it became a story about a little girl who is supported by the new friends around her to problem solve. I think little ones will love how the story comes together at the end. A Cree glossary is included at the end, but if you are reading this out loud to a library group, as I might, you should likely go over this first. This is a really cute story and important to show young readers an Indigenous perspective and contribute to language revitalization of one of many cultures throughout North America.

Review Quote*This was just the loveliest little book about being a good helper and about family love. My Cree kiddos loved the Cree in the book, and the bannock was superb!!! I will buy this one absolutely.
Review Quote*Kait (4) liked guessing which ingredient each animal was giving and she loved making the bannock at the end. She also related to spilling things because of running along. I enjoyed learning to pronounce all the new words as I read to her. The illustrations are really cute.
Review Quote*

What looks like it might be a take on Little Red Riding Hood, turns into a story of losing Bannock in the woods, and being helped to find all the ingredients by the local wildlife, so that although she can't find what was lost, she can make more of it.

Cree words are sprinkled throughout, but used in context, and with the pictures, you can figure out that sisip is a duck and that siwinikan is sugar.

And at the back of the book is a Cree to English translation as well as pronunciation guide.

Representation is important, and language dies if it is not used. This is a great way to bring the Cree language into everyday stories. One of the things I love about Cree, and this is mentioned in the back of the book is that Kohkum, which is used for grandmother, literally means "your grandmother". But it is commonly used to be just grandmother, so because that is the common usage that is how it is used here to. Languages grow with usage, and change with time.

And, we get a recipe for Bannock to boot.

A good addition to libraries and schools.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

Review Quote*

As a conscientious book lover, one of the first things before requesting this title was to do a search regarding the author to ensure that this is an Own Voices title; it is not only Own Voices written, it is also Own Voices illustrated, and that is one of the top reasons I believe that this book would make a great addition to any collection, and I strongly encourage my Canadian colleagues to purchase this book.

This is the story of a young child who is sent by her grandmother to deliver a basket of goodies to a relative; however, on her way there, due to her playfulness and enjoyment of being in the forest, she looses the bannock in the river. However, an array of forest friends are there to lend her ingredients to make her grandmother's world-famous bannock. But will she be able to make it on her own?

The book is written in Cree and English; while there are no direct translations within the texts regarding the English translation of the Cree words, there are many visual cues. For example, maskwa is the Cree word for 'bear', and it is used only adjacent to a page with the bear bringing an ingredient for bannock. The author makes a note in the translation and pronunciation guide in the back that this book is written as a fun way to revitalize the Cree language, designed perfectly for those who already know the Cree language and for those who are new to learning the language. In addition, the illustrations are beautifully done, and I hope to see more works as a partnership between Mr. Hunt and Ms. Strong in the future.

Review Quote*An absolutely precious children's book using cree language words for items and animals. Not only does it teach and encourage use of a traditional language, it shares a bannock recipe at the end...