Bird Talk


24 pages
ISBN 0-920813-89-5
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Polly Keeshig-Tobias
Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


Little Polly has come home from school in a state of distress. Her
classmates want to play “cowboys and Indians,” and although Polly, a
proud Native Canadian, dislikes the idea, she finds it difficult to
explain to the other children why it is wrong and offensive. When Momma
comes home, she understands. She promises to go to school to talk to the
children and their teacher about the subject, starting with Columbus’s
original mistake. Momma doesn’t like to say “Indians”; she prefers
to say “Native,” “Indigenous,” or “Aboriginal.”

The story is written in a dual-language format (English and Ojibway)
for youngsters ages 4-8. It is illustrated with spare but charming line
drawings by the author’s daughter.


Keeshig-Tobias, Lenore., “Bird Talk,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024,