Awards: Finalist – 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards – Young People’s Literature – Illustration
Winnipeg author, Wab Kinew, is a member of the Midewin and honorary witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Kinew is also a musician, and the words in Go Show the World are the lyrics for a rap song that he wrote to celebrate Indigenous heroes. Kinew has chosen thirteen men and women from various Indigenous groups in the United States and Canada, from the past and the present, who have overcome obstacles and made significant contributions to society – athlete Jim Thorpe, Dr. Susan Picotte, Beatrice Mosionier, Dr. Evan Adams, astronaut John Herrington and Tecumseh, to name a few. The stories are not presented chronologically but each story highlights the important achievements in verse, punctuated by the repeated refrain:
You’re a person who matters,
Yes, it’s true.
Now go show the world what a person that matters can do.
This picture book is a finalist for the Governor General’s 2018 award for Illustration. Toronto portrait artist, Joe Morse, has created illustrations with watercolour, digital colour, and collage. The full page, two-page spreads are powerful. Dramatic portraits dominate the foreground in each setting. Muted shades of brown, green, blue and black predominate and evoke a mood that is sombre and serious. In their stance and face, Morse has captured the strength, determination and pride of these heroes.
In the end notes, readers will find short biographies with additional information on each of the heroes. In the Author’s Note, Kinew says:
“I … hope their stories of triumph over adversity inspire each of us to reach our full potential.” An inspirational book that will appeal to all young readers, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous.