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The First Blade of Sweetgrass

by Suzanne Greenlaw, Gabriel Frey

Other authors: Nancy Baker (Illustrator)

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667381,257 (3.91)None
"In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making"--
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This book is recommended for primary students. This book depicts a granddaughter and grandmother as they former learns how to pick sweetgrass. ( )
  Noahkunkel | Mar 13, 2023 |
This book is about a young Native American girl and her grandmother, from whom she learns how to pick a special plant of sweetgrass. Sweetgrass is what her grandmother uses to weave baskets, as the tradition within their culture has been done for decades, if not centuries, longer. One thing that I appreciate is in the back of the book, the author also includes some historical context as well as a small glossary for the vocabulary used that may be unknown to readers. I would recommend this to 2nd-4th graders (possibly 5th too), as it does have some tricky pronunciations. I feel this age group would be most appropriate because of the traditional content of the book as well as I think that this age group could appreciate the story better than younger students. ( )
  ssaxon21 | Mar 13, 2023 |
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
  fernandie | Sep 14, 2022 |
Independent Reading Level: Grades 4-5
  GracieL | May 5, 2022 |
Musquon goes with her grandmother ("Uhkomi") to learn how to pick sweetgrass for baskets and ceremonies. Musquon's grandmother corrects her first overenthusiastic attempts, and Musquon remembers her grandmother's words: "It's important to remember that we never pick the first blade of sweetgrass we see. If we never pick the first blade, we will never pick the last one. We must make sure there will be sweetgrass here for the next generation."

Illustrations appear to be pastels and/or colored pencil on textured brown paper; some illustrations are full-bleed, while others are framed in braided sweetgrass borders.

Back matter includes a note from the authors and a glossary of Passamaquoddy-Maliseet words, as well as a link to an online dictionary.

See also: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey; When We Are Kind by Monique Gray Smith ( )
  JennyArch | Dec 27, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Suzanne Greenlawprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frey, Gabrielmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, NancyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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As Grandmother's blue truck crested the hill, Musqon saw the ocean for the first time that day.
Quotations
"It's important to remember that we never pick the first blade of sweetgrass we see. If we never pick the first blade, we will never pick the last one. We must make sure there will be sweetgrass here for the next generation."
"Sweetgrass has a shiny green tassel and blades and a purple stem, and it gives itself to you. If you tug lightly on a piece of sweetgrass, it will let go. If you have to pull hard, you are not pulling sweetgrass."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making"--

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