Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Giju's Gift

by (author) Brandon Mitchell

illustrated by Veronika Barinova & Britt Wilson

Portage & Main Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2022
Native Canadian, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Action & Adventure, Friendship
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2022
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3


Long ago, all living creatures on this land shared a special balance with one another. The pugulatmu’j—the Little People—were the original guardians of the land, and they looked after all living things. As time passed, we forgot these playful yet powerful guardians, but they did not forget us. Occasionally, they make their presence known with the little tricks they play.

When her hair clip disappears, Mali is devastated. It was special, made by her giju'. Her mom thinks she lost it, but Mali knows it was stolen by the pugulatmu’j.

Soon after, Mali is surprised to meet Puug—and he’s wearing her hair clip. If she helps him find what he needs, she has a chance of getting it back. As they hunt for the objects on Puug’s list, Mali uncovers a lot of unanswered questions along the way.

Why is there a giant chasing them? Will she really get her hair clip back? And why is Puug collecting these things anyway?

Join Mali and Puug as they race to keep one step ahead of an ancient giant in the first volume of this graphic novel series for young readers.

About the authors

From Listuguj, Quebec, Brandon Mitchell is the founder of Birch Bark Comics and creator of the Sacred Circles comic series, which draws on his Mi’kmaq heritage. He has written five books with the Healthy Aboriginal Network, (Lost Innocence, Drawing HopeRiver Run, Making it Right, and Emily’s Choice). Brandon has written and illustrated Jean-Paul’s Daring Adventure: Stories from Old Mobile for the University of Alabama, as well as two Mi'qmaq language-based stories for the Listugui Education Directorate. He has also completed an art installation for Heritage and Culture New Brunswick.

Brandon Mitchell's profile page

Veronika Barinova is an emerging illustrator currently living in Calgary. She has a Bachelor in Visual Communication Design from the Alberta University of the Arts, and works primarily in digital media. Born in Moscow, Russia, Veronika is inspired by the 90s, occult fiction, and Slavic folk tales. Her work focuses on creating engaging characters and immersive worlds for readers, and her stories often have mystical or supernatural themes with a comedic undertone. Her work appears in the graphic novel series Adventures of the Pugulatmu’j and in the animated film Buddy's Buddy, for which she worked as a background artist.

Veronika Barinova's profile page


Britt Wilson est illustratrice, bédéiste et préposée au lettrage. Elle a été mise en nomination pour le prix Eisner et le prix Harvey. Elle a publié deux bandes dessinées pour lesquelles elle signe le texte et les illustrations : Cat Dad, King of the Goblins et Britt Wilson's Greatest Book on Earth. Britt habite à Toronto.


BRITT WILSON is an Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated letterer, cartoonist and illustrator. She works on various comics and series (including the six-issue mini-series Fionna and Cake, and Becky and Frank’s Capture Creatures) and has also released two of her own graphic novels, Cat Dad, King of the Goblins, and Britt Wilson’s Greatest Book on Earth. She lives in Toronto, Ontario. Visit her online at

Britt Wilson's profile page


  • Long-listed, PMC Indigenous Literature Award
  • Nominated, Surrey Schools Book of the Year
  • Short-listed, Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards, Graphic Novel

Editorial Reviews

What a read! What an adventure! Giju's Gift is a treasure filled with knowledge, insight, and a little bit of terror. I loved it!! Brandon Mitchell and Veronika Barinova have knocked it out of the park and given us something special that everyone can learn from.

Richard Van Camp, Author of A Blanket of Butterflies and Three Feathers

Among School Library Journal's suggested graphic novels and resources centering the Native American experience.

School Library Journal

An action-adventure graphic novel...about the power and love that memories contain. Highly recommended.

CM Association

Among CBC Book's 33 Canadian Picture Books to Watch for in Spring 2022

CBC Books

Among The Globe and Mail's Kid's Gift Guide (2022)

The Globe and Mail

Other titles by

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists