The Giving Tree
written and illustrated by Leah Dorion Michif
translation by Norman Fleury
The Gabriel Dumont Institute, 2009
$12.95 (pb), 38 pp, Métis values chart, CD English/Michif-Cree narration, ages 5 – 9
This colourful and beautifully illustrated book is a retelling of a traditional Métis story: Grandfather recalls a time when he visited the “Great Giving Tree” while on a journey with his family to visit relatives. Located at the halfway point between the two villages, the tree was the traditional picnicking spot for travelling families. When his mother realized that she had forgotten to pack sugar for the tea, he was lifted up to look inside the big hollow in the old maple. To his surprise, all kinds of supplies, including sugar, were stored deep inside. For generations the tree had been used to cache items for travellers in need. In exchange for the sugar, some hankies and a small pail were placed inside the hollow.
Classroom Connections: A chart (in the shape of a Red River Cart Wheel) of the Métis values of patience, tolerance, respect, love, kindness, strength, sharing, balance, caring, courage, honesty and the connection to Mother Earth is provided at the end of the book. An explanation of each of the values is also given.
Review by Brenda Boreham.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2013 issue.