Moonbeam Gold Medal, Multicultural Picture Books
"Remember Me: Tomah Joseph's Gift to Franklin Roosevelt is a beautiful thumbnail biography of Passamaquoddy chief Tomah Joseph (1837-1914) focused on his relationship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom he taught many things from how to paddle a canoe to how to listen to the sounds of nature and discover the message of a spirit helper. Tomah Joseph spent summers on Campobello Island near where young Franklin and his family had their vacation cottage. The friendship that unfolded between the Passamaquoddy chief and guide and the boy who would be president of the United States was very special. Tomah Joseph taught young Roosevelt many things about Passamaquoddy history, lore, arts, and culture. A beautiful birchbark canoe that he made especially for Franklin is still on display at the Visitors Center at Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Because Tomah Joseph's spirit helper was the owl, ko-ko-gus, he carefully inscribed one on the side of the canoe. Tomah Joseph was known for his fine artistic work with birchbark, and he often inscribed the words Mikwid hamin (always remember me) on the etched scenes of his birchbark artworks. Remember Me is a stunning book with lovely illustrations of beautiful scenes where Tomah Joseph and Franklin Roosevelt walked and canoed. Winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Remember Me is a fine educational resource and a beautiful gift for any student of Native American cultures, especially suitable for grades 3-6."
—Midwest Book Review
"Remember Me is a wonderful story that describes not only the magic and mystery of our ancestral homeland but the giving nature of our elders."
—David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy master canoe builder.
"This lovely book captures, in both words and images, the growing friendship between the young boy who would become the 32nd president of the United States and Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy elder and canoe guide. Although this story focuses on his skills as a guide and educator, Tomah Joseph was also a gifted artist, a fine dancer and storyteller, and a tribal governor. His beautifully etched drawings record Passamaquoddy oral history, life in "the old time," and also include references to his contemporary world. Written by a Passamaquoddy, this story is a wonderful addition to the growing volume of children's literature that respectfully and accurately presents Native people to a wider audience."
—Joan Lester, author of History on Birchbark: The Art of Tomah Joseph, Passamaquoddy.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man who would become the thirty-second president of the United States, joyfully spent his boyhood summers on Campobello Island. It was there that he met Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy elder and former chief who made his living as a guide, birchbark canoe builder, and basketmaker. Authors Soctomah and Flahive imagine the relationship that developed between these two as Tomah Joseph taught young Franklin how to canoe and shared some of the stories and culture of his people. A beautifully decorated birchbark canoe that he made for Franklin remains at Campobello Island, a tangible reminder of this special friendship.
Donald Soctomah is a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe, serves as his tribe's representative in the state legislature, and is a tribal historian. He has written seven books about Passamaquoddy history and culture and co-authored a tri-lingual children's book, Tihtiyas and Jean, 2005 winner of the iParenting Media Award in Canada, with Nathalie Gagnon. Donald lives with his family at Indian Township near Peter Dana Point, where Tomah Joseph spent most of his life.
Jean Flahive left work in higher education to pursue her interests in economic development and writing. For the past several years she has worked as a consultant for the Passamaquoddy Tribe, rural communities, and nonprofit organizations throughout Maine. She is the author of Billy Boy: The Sunday Soldier of the 17th Maine. She lives in Falmouth, Maine. For more about Jean: www.jeanflahive.com
Mary Beth Owens has illustrated many beautiful children's books, including Rosebud and Red Flannel, A Penny for a Hundred, Be Blessed: A Celebration of Seasons, The Gazebo, The Story of Sea Glass, Panda Whispers, and The Dump Man's Treasures. She lives in Walpole, Maine.
Tilbury House, Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue
Gardiner, Maine 04345
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