The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced this year’s pick for its popular annual TD Grade One Book Giveaway. In September, every Grade One child in Canada will receive a copy of My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci (Orca Book Publishers) – by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett – through their school.
This year has been declared the International Year of Indigenous Languages by the United Nations, and this special edition of My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci will be written in Plains Cree as well as English/French.
“Orca is delighted that My Heart Fills With Happiness has been selected for this year’s giveaway,” publisher Andrew Wooldridge says in the press release. “This is a wonderful book that has already engaged thousands of children. Its message of kindness, support, and respect has really struck a chord and its underlying impact on Reconciliation has been profound. We are especially glad that the version that the CCBC has chosen is the dual-language edition in Cree and English. This is a book that every Canadian should read and reflect on.”
My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci was first published in 2016 and was the 2017 winner of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. The CCBC describes it as “a celebration of Indigenous culture, family, and finding joy in life’s simple moments.” Executive director Rose Vespa adds in the release, “The educational benefits of reading and literacy are immense, but we also see books as a way to bring joy and build connections and empathy. My Heart Fills With Happiness is the perfect example of this and I am proud for it to be the first giveaway book during my time at the CCBC. This fall over half a million children will receive a copy of My Heart Fills With Happiness, and for many this gift will spark a lifelong love of books and stories.”