A beautiful, transcendent story of a mother-daughter connection that persists through tragedy and across time.
Kateri is a young Cree girl, growing up in the care of her grandmother. We see her reaching important milestones: her first day of school, first dance, first date, wedding, first child. Her mother is absent, but not gone, watching her child growing up without her.
Told in alternating voices of child and mother, Missing Nimâmâ is a story of love, loss, and acceptance, showing the human side of a national tragedy. Dreamlike illustrations by François Thisdale enrich Kateri’s emotional journey. An afterword by the author provides a simple, age-appropriate context for young readers. Includes Cree words and glossary.
"A free-verse intergenerational story of separation, loss, and daughter-mother connection amid the ongoing crisis of missing First Nations girls and women. . . On each page, Cree author Florence presents two narratives: Kateri's and her missing nimâmâ's. By juxtaposing the daughter's and mother's thoughts and feelings in complementary verse, Florence provides them the opportunity to experience life together from their respective points of view and to talk to each other from a distance. Thisdale's soft-edged, wistful artwork enriches the heartfelt story, strongly capturing the passage of time and Kateri's emotional journey. An afterword is appended, offering simple and relevant information as well as statistics of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women; together with the story, it should help to begin a conversation with young readers. A solid debut picture book that works as a record of voices that are usually unheard, ignored, and forgotten." — Kirkus Reviews
"A touching story related from the point of view of a missing indigenous woman as she watches her daughter grow up without her." — Quill and Quire
"Missing Nimâmâ is heartbreaking. It's soulful and breathtakingly painful, and all the more so because of Melanie Florence's free verse text. Never have I read free verse so aptly applied in a picture book. Melanie Florence . . . has demonstrated a powerful skill at creating rhythmic emotions with words. The tugs at the heart are aching for the story they tell and the artistry with which François Thisdale tells it. The matching of François Thisdale's art with Melanie Florence's text is wondrous. . . His choice of colours and the ability to enrich stark outdoor scenes of yards and forests and simply furnished indoor rooms create ghostly landscapes that epitomize the shadows of a girl's longing for her mother, a mother lost but never, never forgotten.
Missing Nimâmâ is a haunting story of lives lost and lived and shared, beautifully rendered in words and art. Expect to see this one on award lists in the near future." — CanLit for LittleCanadians