Friday, October 28, 2022

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby & Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

Cover illustration showing child and grandmother walking outdoors over sand towards water

Why this book?

This wonderful book takes look at the seasons through feeling and experiencing them in nature. The more times I read it, the more I appreciate and think about different ways I know the seasons myself.

My thoughts as a creator:

I really enjoyed this look at the seasons from a perspective that is not my own. To stretch your writing brain, it would be interesting to try to make a list of the different ways you know the seasons (or a place) yourself and add those details to a manuscript or write a poem.

My thoughts as an educator:

child and grandmother in silhouette sitting in front of lake at sunset
I was so happy to share this book with my students! While we read this story, the children were eager to talk about their own experiences of how they experience the seasons. It’s wonderful to be able to share this dual-language story and keep it in the classroom for children to refer to at different times over the year. Talking about the illustrations with children provided so much opportunity for discussions about activities they experience with family members.

Ages: 4 - 7

Grades: K - 3

Connections: seasons, nature, Anishinaabe culture, intergenerational relationships


Literacy & Nature: Talk about different ways of knowing the seasons. Go out on a nature walk and explore. What do you see, smell and hear related to the current season? When you return inside, draw a “map” to show what you found.

Dramatic play: Make a list of student ideas about different ways of knowing the seasons. Have students take turns acting out one of the ideas while others guess what they are showing (or which season they are showing).

Art: After reading the story and talking about the details in the illustrations, encourage children to paint their own pictures to show a favourite activity they do with a grandparent or other family member. What details could they include?

Inquiry: Talk about the animals and plants shown in the story. Choose one animal or plant and find out what it does during the different seasons of the year.


More resources:

The publisher has provided a study guide with comprehension questions and activities related to seasons and storytelling.

Description from the publisher:

In this lyrical story-poem, written in Anishinaabemowin and English, a child and grandmother explore their surroundings, taking pleasure in the familiar sights that each new season brings.

We accompany them through warm summer days full of wildflowers, bees and blueberries, then fall, when bears feast before hibernation and forest mushrooms are ripe for harvest. Winter mornings begin in darkness as deer, mice and other animals search for food, while spring brings green shoots poking through melting snow and the chirping of peepers.

Brittany Luby and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley have created a book inspired by childhood memories of time spent with Knowledge Keepers, observing and living in relationship with the natural world in the place they call home — the northern reaches of Anishinaabewaking, around the Great Lakes.

Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know was written by Brittany Luby and illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckly. It was translated by Alvin Ted Corbiere. This book was published by House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books.


I feature this book in Episode 3 of #3in3 (and Tea) with Debbie Ridpath Ohi. For other picture books we've featured check out Debbie's Youtube playlist here.

You can also find wonderful picture book selections at Perfect Picture Book Friday, a blog review feature compiled by Susanna Leonard Hill, listing picture books with contributions by avid picture book readers and book bloggers.

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