Today is the release day of Nibi’s Water Song written by Sunshine Tenasco and illustrated by Chief Lady Bird. A perfect read-aloud that addresses the important topic of clean water with lively illustrations, Nibi’s Water Song is a great start for those wishing to start a conversation about activism with young readers.
When Nibi, an Indigenous girl, turns the tap in her house, only mucky brown water comes out. That starts her on a search for clean water to drink. Though she must face polluted rivers, unfriendly neighbors, and her own temporary discouragement, Nibi’s joyful energy becomes a catalyst for change and action as her community rallies around her to make clean drinking water available for all.
The hopeful tone and lively read-aloud quality of the text open the door to conversations and action with young children, while the distinctive, delightful artwork conveys the themes of vitality, resistance, and resilience. The word “Nibi” means “water” in the Anishinaabe language, and Nibi’s Water Song is as refreshing and revitalizing as its protagonist’s name.
Watch author Sunshine Tenasco as she talks about Nibi’s Water Song and the fight for clean water:
Praise for Nibi’s Water Song:
“One gutsy girl leads the way.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The compelling narrative with its accompanying illustrations explains the fight for clean water in simple and relatable terms, making this a great first purchase.” —School Library Journal
“Nibi’s arc educates readers about the lack of potable water in many Indigenous communities while encouraging children to speak out about conservation issues.”—Publishers Weekly
Order your copy of Nibi’s Water Song:
or wherever you order your favorite books!
Sunshine Tenasco is Anishinaabe from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Quebec, Canada. She is a mom of four kids and a clean water activist. A portion of the profits from her handmade beadwork pendants go to a foundation that strives for a better environment for all. She also conducts workshops where she teaches beadwork and talks about the realities Indigenous people face in Canada, particularly around water access. Nibi’s Water Song is her first book. Visit her website at herbraids.com.
Chief Lady Bird is a Chippewa and Potawatomi artist from Rama First Nation and Moose Deer Point First Nation. The first artist to create an emoji for Twitter for Indigenous Peoples Day/Indigenous History Month, she uses digital illustration, mixed-media work, street art/murals, and community-based workshops to center contemporary truths and envision Indigenous Futurisms. You can find her online as @chiefladybird.