First Blade of Sweetgrass

In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making.

 

Musquon must overcome her impatience while learning to distinguish sweetgrass from other salt marsh grasses, but slowly the spirit and peace of her surroundings speak to her, and she gathers sweetgrass as her ancestors have done for centuries, leaving the first blade she sees to grow for future generations. This sweet, authentic story from a Maliseet mother and her Passamaquoddy husband includes backmatter about traditional basket making and a Wabanaki glossary. color throughout

First Blade of Sweetgrass

In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making.

 

PW Starred Review - "Emphasizing the importance of conservation and tradition in Native culture, married authors Greenlaw (who is Maliseet) and Frey (who is Passamaquoddy) expertly craft a sweet story that centers a Wabanaki grandmother and granddaughter...Baker’s earth-toned illustrations feature soft edges, subtle colors, and braided sweetgrass borders, while lyrical text renders experience in evocative sensory prose (“the thin whine of mosquitos grew distant”). The result is a deeply personal, thoughtfully detailed account."
PW

"While hunting for summer’s sweetgrass, a young Wabanaki girl learns patience from her grandmother... Greenlaw (Houlton Band of Maliseet) and Frey (Passamaquoddy), a basket maker himself, pen a tender ode to a treasured tradition. Muted illustrations rendered in pastels on brown paper evoke the coastal Maine landscape and fit nicely with the tranquil pace of this lyrical tale. Quiet text shows how careful observation and the respect of nature can provide unexpected gifts."
Kirkus