C is for Chickasaw, by Wiley Barnes | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Chickasaw Press
The Children’s Book Review | December 20, 2018
Written by Wiley Barnes
Illustrated by Aaron Long
Age Range: 6 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher:White Dog Press (October 2, 2014)
What to expect: Indigenous People: Chickasaw Nation, Culture, and Heritage
Chokma (hello)! Welcome to the world of the Chickasaw people, introduced through this brightly colored, fascinating, and conceptual alphabet book. This book is as much about the Chickasaw culture and history as it is about the preservation of the Chickasaw Nation. With the now fewer than fifty-five fluent speakers of the Chickasaw language, this is a welcome and stimulating addition to the world of children’s literature.
C is for Chickasaw is engaging, well-written and well-designed. The clear format enables readers of different reading levels and comprehension capabilities to take in as much as they are ready for. The glossary of words and the activities and discussion questions found in the end pages make it ideal for a classroom setting, too.
Working through the alphabet, from A to Z, the author and illustrator share 26 concepts that highlight Chickasaw culture and heritage, such as the importance of family, tools, clothing, art, and the forced resettlement of Native Americans that took place in the 1830s. For each letter there is an English word (Arrow) accompanied by a Chickasaw word (Oski’ Naki’), and a two-line stanza that gives meaning to the word (Flying silently and swiftly through the air/Warriors hunt for food, fish, deer, even bear). To echo the identity of the Chickasaw people, Southeastern Native American artwork is displayed boldly on each page showcasing one-dimensional figures presented in profile with highly stylized features. Each concept also includes a short description with additional information for any reader that is ready to dig deeper.
Filled with wisdom, knowledge, and courage—just like the Chickasaw elders—readers ages 6 and up are sure to be fascinated by this educational picture book.
For more information, visit: https://chickasawpress.com
About the Author
Wiley Barnes, Chickasaw, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University. He has spent nearly eighteen years forging a career in publishing, writing, printing, and graphic design, with the last eleven years at the Chickasaw Nation. During that time he has had the pleasure of working on a number of projects that promote Chickasaw culture and celebrate Chickasaw people. C is for Chickasaw, his first children’s book, received a Gold Benjamin Franklin for Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult, a Bronze Moonbeam for Multicultural Nonfiction Picture Book, and was an Oklahoma Book Award Finalist. Barnes lives in Ada, Oklahoma, with his wife and two children.
About the Illustrator
Aaron Long, Choctaw, is an award-winning designer and artist. He worked for the Chickasaw Nation for nearly ten years in a number of roles, including museum exhibit development and book publishing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. C is for Chickasaw is his first full-length book illustration project. Long is now a pastor and lives in Tennessee with his wife and four children.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. The publisher of “C is for Chickasaw,” Chickasaw Press, sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …
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