People Who Matter
Go Show the World by Wab Kinew and Joe Morse, published by Tundra Books is a gorgeous new addition to bookstores.
I had the pleasure of listening to Wab Kinew and Joe Morse in conversation with Dr. Jenny K. Dupuis about this book and you could feel the joy and the importance in the room. Born as a rap song, Go Show the World celebrates indigenous heroes from the past, present, and future. It begins and ends with the land and highlights a diverse array of indigenous heroes of different genders, from different nations, and different time periods. Extensively researched, it is a beautiful resource highlighting the achievements of indigenous people, It’s a book of strength, resistance, wisdom, and hope. Go Show the World is not just a picture book for children, it’s a book for everyone. It is positive and uplifting and is an anthem to carry all people. We all need to reflect on the statement: “Go show the world what a person who matters can do.” It’s a powerful statement, and one indigenous youth have never heard before in literature.
We need resources to teach our children and ourselves about the residential school experience, those are required texts. What is so incredible is now we are seeing more and more texts about the greatness and achievements of indigenous people, depicting First Nations in a strong and positive light when for so long they have lived in the shadows of literature, never having the opportunity to see themselves reflected as people who matter. Educators, please make sure you have access to this beautiful book. Buy a copy for your classroom or ask your teacher librarian to buy some for the library. There are so many different avenues for discussion using this book. It is a vital reflection tool for all classrooms and can be used in all curriculum areas. It can be used as a jumping off point for research into other indigenous studies. You can explore questions like: “How can we learn more about indigenous heroes? Where can we find that information? Who in our community carries that knowledge? Why is it important to learn about our ancestors and ourselves?”
The illustrations by Joe Morse were extensively researched and planned in collaboration with the author. All the illustrations are true reflections of the people they represent and true mirrors of the past, present, and future. Joe Morse has ensured there is so much detail in the illustrations, the reader will always find something new and be newly inspired every time they open up the book to read. This book will stand the test of time. Reading it and investigating the illustrations at different ages will bring newer and more interesting perspectives.
There is a fabulous discussion guide to accompany the book to dig deeper and venture further into your understanding of the text. I would love to see the publisher take this book to another level by creating a multi-media resource to be used in the higher grade levels. All students could really connect to this material in another way if perhaps it was recorded as a rap with the pictures featured so it could be shown in a larger setting.