Native American Heritage Month Collection Spotlight: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell

This Collection Spotlight highlights titles in the the CECH Library’s Kretschmer Collection of Native American Children’s Literature. This special collection features children’s books with Native American themes, written and illustrated by Native American authors and artists.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga / written by Traci Sorell ; artwork by Frané Lessac / 2018

We Are Grateful is a stunning picture book with vibrant illustrations that takes the reader through every season in the perspective of the Cherokee people. Focusing on the Cherokee word otsaliheliga which represents gratitude, we see all the ways that one might use it in their culture. Sorell provides the phonetic spelling of each Cherokee word, as well as a list of definitions and a syllabary at the end, providing a great introduction to the traditions and language.

Through the depictions of Cherokee food, games, and holidays, young children may explore gratefulness and what it means to be thankful in other cultures. This is a perfect read for Native American Heritage Month, and a great, modern introduction to the Cherokee culture, providing children a way to connect and learn more about the heritage.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is available from CECH Library, as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

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