Recipe: Yarrow Tea

Written in Cree and English, Caitlin Dale Nicholson’s nipêhon / I Wait is a sweet story about a little girl who picks wild yarrow with her mother and grandmother. The book includes a recipe for yarrow tea, which is known for its refreshing, soothing effects. We’ve included the recipe here.


Yarrow Tea

4 cups water
4 tablespoons yarrow flowers and leaves, fresh or dried

Bring water to a boil, then add yarrow.
Steep for five minutes, strain and enjoy.
Drink hot or cold — hot to relieve a fever.


wâpanêwask nihtiy

nêwo minihkwâcikana nipiy
nêwo êmihkwânisak wâpanêwask wâpikwaniya, oski-nîpiya ahpô ê-pâstêki.

kisâkamisa nipiy; ohtêki, êkota wâpanêwask ka-takonên.
pêho niyânan cipahikanisa, sîkopwâtina êkwa minihkwê.
kika-kî-minihkwân ê-kisâkamitêk ahpô ê-tahkâkamik — ê-kisâkamitêyik ka-miyoskâkow awiyak ê-kisisot.


ᐋᐧᐸᓀᐊᐧᐢᐠ ᓂᐦᑎᕀ

ᓀᐅᐧ  ᒥᓂᐦᑳᐧᒋᑲᓇ   ᓂᐱᕀ
ᓀᐅᐧ  ᐁᒥᐦᑳᐧᓂᓴᐠ  ᐋᐧᐸᓀᐊᐧᐢᐠ  ᐋᐧᐱᑲᐧᓂᔭ, ᐅᐢᑭ  ᓃᐱᔭ  ᐊᐦᐴ  ᐁ  ᐹᐢᑌᑭ᙮

ᑭᓵᑲᒥᓴ  ᓂᐱᕀ;  ᐅᐦᑌᑭ,  ᐁᑯᑕ ᐋᐧᐸᓀᐊᐧᐢᐠ  ᑲ  ᑕᑯᓀᐣ᙮
ᐯᐦᐅ  ᓂᔮᓇᐣ  ᒋᐸᐦᐃᑲᓂᓴ,  ᓰᑯᐹᐧᑎᓇ  ᐁᑲᐧ  ᒥᓂᐦᑫᐧ᙮
ᑭᑲ  ᑮ  ᒥᓂᐦᑳᐧᐣ  ᐁ  ᑭᓵᑲᒥᑌᐠ  ᐊᐦᐴ  ᐁ  ᑕᐦᑳᑲᒥᐠ  —  ᐁ  ᑭᓵᑲᒥᑌᔨᐠ  ᑲ  ᒥᔪᐢᑳᑯᐤ  ᐊᐃᐧᔭᐠ  ᐁ  ᑭᓯᓱᐟ᙮

nipêhon / I Wait
Caitlin Dale Nicholson with Leona Morin-Nelson

A young child, her grandmother and mother are going out to pick wild yarrow. As Grandmother gets ready, the child and her mom wait. Grandmother leads the way to the field of blossoms, where they can finally start to pick … only now they have to wait for Mom!

The simple story, written in Cree and English and accompanied by rich acrylic illustrations, shows the patience, love and humor involved as three generations accommodate one another on a family outing. nipêhon / ᓂᐯᐦᐅᐣ / I Wait was translated by Leona Morin-Neilson, who was the inspiration for the book.

This companion volume to niwîcihâw / I Help includes a recipe for yarrow tea, known for its refreshing and soothing effects. The recipe is reproduced here.

The Breadwinner to Premiere at TIFF

Animated Film Adaptation of Deborah Ellis’s Bestselling The Breadwinner to Debut at Toronto International Film Festival

We are proud to announce that the full-length animated adaptation of The Breadwinner will be making its world premiere on September 10th at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is based on Deborah Ellis’s internationally bestselling novel of the same name.

The Breadwinner tells the story of eleven-year-old Parvana, who lives in Kabul. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must disguise herself as a boy and become the breadwinner for her family. First published in 2000, The Breadwinner is the first book in the four-part award-winning Breadwinner series about loyalty, survival, family and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. The series has sold over two million copies worldwide and has been published in twenty-five languages. A movie tie-in edition of The Breadwinner in now available. Watch for a graphic-novel adaptation in January 2018.

The Breadwinner film was directed by Nora Twomey of Cartoon Saloon. It was produced by Aircraft Pictures, Cartoon Saloon and Melusine Productions, with producers Tomm Moore and Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon, Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen of Aircraft Pictures, and Stephan Roelants of Melusine Productions. The film was executive produced by Angelina Jolie’s Jolie Pas Productions.

Farewell, Jan Andrews

We at Groundwood were sad to learn of the loss of beloved children’s author Jan Andrews on September 2nd. Jan was a consummate storyteller and a recipient of the Order of Canada.

On learning of her death, I remembered the sweetly melancholy themes of her 1990 picture book The Auction, illustrated by Karen Reczuch.

The Auction tells the story of Todd’s final visit to his grandfather’s farm. The contents of the farm — from the combine to the kitchen utensils  — are soon to be sold, and the property will move into the hands of new owners. Already the farm is eerily quiet with the cows, pigs and chickens gone.

Together Todd and his grandfather walk the fields, and Todd’s grandfather reminisces about the life he built there with Gran — their children and grandchildren and the changing seasons. Together they eat the last of Gran’s preserves from her garden. Gran is gone too.

It’s a rare thing, such a poignant and nuanced book about loss written for children. All things pass away, and in this quiet moment we witness the last view of Todd’s grandparents’ life together before the pieces scatter and join other stories.

We are sorry to say goodbye to Jan, but we will find solace in the books she left behind. It’s not all sadness, after all. Even The Auction ends in a burst of silliness. Todd and his grandfather construct scarecrows and place them in joyful tableaux all over the farm. Todd is still young, and he will have a life and a story all of his own.

Jan Andrews Obituary, CBC

Phil’s Outdoor Studio: Illustrating Me and You and the Red Canoe

Me and You and the Red Canoe, written by Jean E. Pendziwol, is mononymous artist Phil’s first picture book.

Phil contemplates the view from his studio

Phil studied painting, printmaking, photography and design at the Alberta College of Art and Design, and the Ontario College of Art and Design. His paintings evoke memories as well as images and feelings from the past.

Gorgeous thumbnails of the picture book’s layout

His stunningly beautiful paintings rendered on wood panels give a nostalgic feeling, a perfect pairing with Jean E. Pendziwol’s poetic text.

A work in progress

Learn More

And So It Goes: A gentle, loving book about loss, grief, birth, and celebration

A Mindful Meditation on the Mysteries of Life, for Children

by Dona Matthews, co-author of Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids

There were tears in my eyes and a smile in my heart as I read And So It Goes, written and illustrated by Paloma Valdivia, an award-winning Chilean illustrator and writer. Ms Valdivia hits just the right note of compassionate understanding of children’s tender innocence and wonder, while simultaneously being straightforwardly honest about the pain of grief and reminding them of the joys of life.

Very young children often wonder about death and worry about it, whether or not they experience it closely in their own lives. If you have a sensitive child who is asking questions about death, and if you are open to a contemplative acceptance of the mysteries of life, I can highly recommend And So It Goes.

This book is a wonderful resource for families coping with loss, as well as with other changes that parents might be happy about, but that children don’t always welcome, including a new baby or a move away from friends and family. There’s a lovely sense of the mystery of life itself, a light touch that emphasizes the importance of doing the best we can with what we have, here and now: “Those of us here are just here. And so we’d best enjoy ourselves.”

And So It Goes is mindfulness in practice, a thoughtful meditation for parents as well as children. It is a comforting reminder of the inevitability of change, and the importance of appreciating everything and everyone we have in this moment.

Parents may feel they should avoid discussing death and loss with their children, but even toddlers appreciate our honesty. Children worry when they don’t understand and will be comforted by the gentle acceptance of the changing nature of life itself that Paloma Valdivia captures so beautifully, both in the words and the whimsical illustrations in this book.

I love the easy balance between sadness and celebration, and the deft subtlety of Ms. Valdivia’s philosophical musings: “For a fleeting moment, those who leave and those who arrive cross paths in the air. They wish each other happiness.”

And So It Goes feels deeply imbued with a true understanding of the pain of loss and grief. It honors that pain, while reassuring young children that life goes on: “And so it goes, just as spring follows winter. Some arrive while others take their leave.”

Beyond Intelligence
Written by Dr. Dona Matthews
& Dr. Joanne Foster

From two internationally recognized experts in the field of gifted education comes this timely exploration of how best to nurture a child’s unique gifts, and set them on a path to a happily productive life — in school and beyond.

Drawing on the latest research in brain development and education theory, Beyond Intelligence is a must-read for today’s parents and educators.

Seamus’s Short Story Will Make You Stand Tall!

Seamus's Short Story

Seamus would give anything to be taller! One day, while playing dress-up in his mother’s closet, he finds a way to reach new heights.

With his mother’s high-heeled shoes on, Seamus can suddenly reach everything that was once too high: the top-floor elevator button, the chocolate milk in the fridge, the TV remote and that horrid picture of him as a baby. But when Seamus encounters problems that can’t be solved from a great height, he has to admit that sometimes being small just isn’t so bad.


Acclaimed picture book author Heather Hart-Sussman brings a light touch to this nuanced story about acceptance, resourcefulness and love, complemented by the humor and beauty in Milan Pavlovic’s colorful paintings of Seamus’s world — where there are times to be tall and times to be small.

Learn More!

Back to School with Buddy and Earl

Buddy and Earl know that with the right education they can become anything — even a dentist or a hot-dog vendor! So they eagerly gather their silly, smelly supplies and head to school.

Trace a path through this maze to help Buddy and Earl find their way to school!


For more fun Buddy and Earl activities, download our free Buddy and Earl Go to School activity guide!

Buddy and Earl Go to School
by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Carey Sookocheff

Buddy and Earl know that with the right education they can become anything — even a dentist or a hot-dog vendor! So they eagerly gather their silly, smelly supplies and head to school.

In this fourth book in the critically acclaimed Buddy and Earl series, the dog who likes to play by the rules and the hedgehog who knows no limits learn just how much fun school can be.

Nadia L. Hohn on Celebrating Carnival on Emancipation Day

This Emancipation Day, August 1st, I find myself in the birthplace of Caribbean Carnival, on the island of Trinidad. Although Trinidad’s festivities take place before Lent begins, reflecting its largely Catholic majority, Barbados’ Carnival Crop Over and Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival (formerly Caribana) take place during this Emancipation season.

This time of year marks the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British colonies. Although there were other forms of indentureship and servitude in existence after slavery, it meant a lot for my ancestors to be freed from a life of slavery.

As you may already know, Carnival in any Caribbean nation and across the African diaspora is a “serious thing.” All year long, people pour their resources and energy into preparations for an event that lasts but a few days. To some, it may appear frivolous and maybe even a bit fanatical, but when you consider what is inspiring this fervor — the fact that our African enslaved ancestors were freed from hundreds of years of bondage — it is completely fitting. Today in Trinidad, we prepare to celebrate Emancipation Day with our brothers and sisters across the African diaspora in the Caribbean and all over the world, including Canada. We don bright colors and African prints and watch a parade.

Although I’d never been to Trinidad before today, its Carnival lived in my imagination and inspired my book. Tomorrow, I make my way to Barbados where I will play Mas’ with Crop Over revelers from around the world, casting off our cares and woes, rejoicing in costumes and pageantry under a hot Caribbean sun. Each Carnival song calls to a part of ourselves in which we forget our pains and losses so that we can celebrate our lives, our freedom and our shining moment.

For Malaika in my picture book Malaika’s Costume, it is to forget for a moment that she is poor and living without her mother who has migrated to Canada for work. She finds joy and solace in celebrating Carnival. As I don my costume at Crop Over in Barbados, I will remember my joys and losses this year, including my younger brother who recently passed away. I will celebrate because I’ve survived, and I love and continue to live the dreams of freedom that my ancestors had. And through celebration and festivities, I will keep their memories alive and create new ones.

Malaika’s Costume
Written by Nadia L. Hohn
Illustrated by Irene Luxbacher

It’s Carnival time. The first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to find a good job and provide for Malaika and her grandmother. Her mother promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade?

Malaika’s Winter Carnival is coming soon!

Watch for Malaika’s Winter Carnival, to be published on September 1, 2017!

Greetings, Leroy launch at A Different Booklist

The bright, airy space that is A Different Booklist’s new location welcomed a crowd of family, friends and community members as author Itah Sadu and illustrator Alix Delinois launched their picture book, Greetings, Leroy, on Thursday night. Scroll down for photos of the event, as well as a clip of Itah reading part of the book to a rapt audience. In honor of Alix’s Haitian roots, Dr. Eric Pierre, Honorary Consul of Haiti, spoke about Haitian arts and culture.

Itah Sadu has co-owned the Toronto-based A Different Booklist with her husband, Miguel San Vincente, for the past seventeen years. The bookstore is dedicated to selling books by and about people from the African-Canadian mosaic. Since moving to its new location at 779 Bathurst Street in the new year, the store has officially expanded to a community cultural hub. Individuals and organizations can take out memberships with A Different Booklist Cultural Centre: The People’s Residence.

Greetings, Leroy
Written by Itah Sadu
Illustrated by Alix Delinois

The first day at a new school is nerve-wracking enough, never mind when it’s in a new country! In this lively picture book from award-winning storyteller Itah Sadu, Roy realizes he may come to love his new home in Canada as much as he loves his old home in Jamaica.

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