Bowwow Powwow (ALA Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))

by Brenda J. Child

Other authorsGordon Jourdain (Translator), Jonathan Thunder (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2018





Minnesota Historical Society Press (2018), Edition: Bilingual, 32 pages


"When Uncle and Windy Girl attend a powwow, Windy watches the dancers and listens to the singers. She eats tasty food and joins family and friends around the campfire. Later, Windy falls asleep under the stars. Uncle's stories inspire visions in her head: a bowwow powwow, where all the dancers are dogs. In these magical scenes, Windy sees veterans in a Grand Entry, and a visiting drum group, and traditional dancers, grass dancers, and jingle-dress dancers--all with telltale ears and paws and tails. All celebrating in song and dance. All attesting to the wonder of the powwow."--Provided by publisher.

User reviews

LibraryThing member melodyreads
good story
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Brenda J. Child, a professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, and a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation of Minnesota, makes her children's book debut with this bilingual picture-book, which follows the story of a young girl who, attending a powwow with her uncle and her dog, falls asleep and has a dream about a 'Bowwow Powwow' involving all dog characters. Child's English-language text has been translated into Anishinaabemowin by Gordon Jourdain, a member of the Lac La Croix First Nation of Ontario, and a teacher at the Misaabekong Ojibwe Language Immersion program in the Duluth Public Schools. The accompanying artwork is provided by Jonathan Thunder, also a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation.

I found the story here interesting, and appreciated the brief author's note at the end, explaining how the concept of the book - a powwow attended entirely by different kinds of dogs - had its roots in a traditional Ojibwe dance in which participants, singing "we are like dogs, we are like dogs," solicited food and gifts at all the nearby houses. This custom reminded me of some western European Christmas traditions, in which groups of singers travel from house to house, likewise asking for food and drink. I also appreciated the fact that the book was presented in both English and Anishinaabemowin, although I was only able to judge the former. The artwork from Thunder was not to my taste - too cartoon-like in style, with odd proportions and perspectives - but leaving that aside, I enjoyed Bowwow Powwow : Bagosenjige-niimi'idim, and would recommend it to anyone looking for picture-books about powwows and/or dreams, or that feature an Ojibwe cultural background.
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LibraryThing member riofriotex
The cartoonish illustrations of this book did not appeal to me. However, the drawings of dancing costumes worn by anthropomorphized dogs of different breeds were intriguing, and a historical note at the end of the book about the costumes would have been quite interesting. Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press with bilingual text in English and Ojibwe, this book was the 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Award Picture Book winner.… (more)


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 10.4 inches


1681340771 / 9781681340777


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