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list price: $16.99
also available: Hardcover
category: Children's Fiction
published: May 2021
publisher: Orca Book Publishers

You Hold Me Up / Gimanaadenim

by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Danielle Daniel, translated by Angela Mesic & Margaret Noodin

tagged: emotions & feelings, friendship

This vibrant picture book, beautifully illustrated by celebrated artist Danielle Daniel, encourages children to show love and support for each other and to consider each other's well-being in their every-day actions.
Consultant, international speaker and award-winning author Monique Gray Smith wrote You Hold Me Up to prompt a dialogue among young people, their care providers and educators about Reconciliation and the importance of the connections children make with their friends, classmates and families. This is a foundational book about building relationships, fostering empathy and encouraging respect between peers, starting with our littlest citizens.
Orca Book Publishers is proud to offer this picture book as a dual-language (English and Anishinaabemowin) edition.

About the Authors
Monique Gray Smith is a mixed–heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry. She is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Monique and her family are blessed to live on Lkwungen territory in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.moniquegraysmith.com.

Danielle Daniel, writer, artist and illustrator is Métis. Her first book, Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and was selected as one of New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing. A schoolteacher for many years, Danielle now writes and paints stories for children and adults and is pursuing her MFA in creative writing through the University of British Columbia. She recently published a nonfiction work, The Dependent: A Memoir of Marriage & the Military. She lives in Northern Ontario.

Angela Mesic currently teaches the first year Anishinaabemowin course at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) and provides online long-distance learning for Yale University. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in the field of psychology at UWM and is currently working on a master of community psychology at Alverno College. Angela has a strong interest in research focused on the psychology of learning and curriculum development. Through the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education at UWM, she assists the director, Dr. Margaret Noodin, in making significant revisions to language curriculum, and handles curricular queries from various internal and external partners, including Indian Community School, several colleges and universities throughout the United States, and tribal communities.

Margaret Noodin received an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she also serves as director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education and a scholar in the Center for Water Policy. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and two bilingual collections of poetry, Weweni and Gijigijigikendan: What the Chickadee Knows. Her poems are also anthologized in New Poets of Native Nations, Poetry, the Michigan Quarterly Review, Water Stone Review and Yellow Medicine Review. Her research spans linguistic revitalization, Indigenous ontologies, traditional science and prevention of violence in Indigenous communities. To see and hear current projects visit www.ojibwe.net, where she and other students and speakers of Ojibwe have created space for language to be shared by academics and the Native community.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
3 to 5
p to k
Reading age:
3 to 5
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Global Read Aloud
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Commended, Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year starred selection
  • Commended, AICL's Best Books
  • Commended, Resource Links The Year's Best
  • Commended, Quill & Quire's kidlit and YA Books of the Year
Editorial Reviews

“A lovely meditation on compassion and respect...A strong sense of community runs through the poetic text and is warmly depicted in Daniel’s stunning watercolour paintings.”

— 49th Shelf

"You Hold Me Up is a welcome addition to the ongoing conversations around healing and rebuilding relationships…Gentle, relevant and never heavy-handed, this book serves both as a quiet lullaby and a starting point for discussions on empathy, community and wellness."

— Canadian Children's Book News

"A seemingly simple picture book that conveys a valuable message for all ages…The distinctive and soft illustrations by Daniel enhance the positive message by Smith about the power of companionship, compassion, respect and togetherness…This quiet book has a deep beauty and a universal message. "

— Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Jury

"A strong and powerful message that even the youngest reader can understand...Very timely message indeed."

— Youth Services Book Reviews

"Ideal for early readers by themselves, for lap-sitting, or as a read-aloud."

— Canadian Literature

“Warm illustrations help to expand the brief text.”

— The Horn Book Online

"You Hold Me Up is a gentle but effective way to introduce the topic of Reconciliation to students of all ages."

— ETFO Voice

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