October 29, 2018

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes

Written by Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
Tundra Books
9780735262928
40 pp.
Ages 5-9
September 2018

Although there are far too many Indigenous heroes to include in an illustrated collective biography and book of inspiration, Wab Kinew manages to honour thirteen figures from history including athletes, physicians, authors, military and leaders who marked history with their efforts.  These are their stories, told in emotional free verse by Wab Kinew and illustrated by Joe Morse with power and strength. But beyond these stories, Wab Kinew urges all readers to be inspired to learn and be more.
From Go Show the World by Wab Kinew, illus. by Joe Morse
Wab Kinew begins with a verse about the beginnings.
There's a power in these lands,
one that's been here many years,
strong enough to make you stand
and forget all of your fears.
It started in the past with a blast of light and thunder;
ancient ones looked up and beheld the sky with wonder.
From Tecumseh, Sacagawea and Net-No-Kwa to contemporary heroes such as Carey Price, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier and Dr. Evan Adams, Wab Kinew recognizes the achievements of those who showed the world that they were and are persons who matter. They led explorers, they faced discrimination, and they achieved beyond the limitations put on them. Knowing their stories, upon which Wab Kinew elaborates in a "Biographies" appendix, is but the first step of recognition which heralds appreciation, emulation and achievement.
We are people who matter.
Yes, it's true.
Now let's show the world what people who matter can do. 
From Go Show the World by Wab Kinew, illus. by Joe Morse
Joe Morse may be more familiar as an artist to his commercial clients but his striking illustrations, which I first noticed in his Visions in Poetry edition of Casey at the Bat, bombard the reader with powerful images. While I'm captured by his backgrounds of forest, sky and water, it is the hero of the double-spread who is always showcased. They are detailed in dress and expression and on a landscape reflective of their story. Most remarkable and unmistakable is the countenance of their expressions. It says that they do matter and are determined to Go Show the World, elevating Wab Kinew's message while illuminating it.
From Go Show the World by Wab Kinew, illus. by Joe Morse
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For teachers, a discussion guide is available at the publisher's website at https://tundrabooks.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/go-show-the-world_discussion-guide.pdf

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