Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Little Hummingbird, by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

The Little Hummingbird, by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Greystone Books

Rating: 5 stars

After not writing all summer long while moving my family from the East Coast to the West, I feel some pressure to come back with a BANG, to write about the newest and latest and most popular book that's now sitting on the shelves of the coolest people ever (but somehow you've still not heard about).

But...this book I came across last week is just too special, even though it's six years old. This is a beautiful retelling of a South American tale--both the simple story and the woodcut illustrations are beautiful...and the lesson at the end is one I try very hard to practice and teach my children.

Here's the story:

There is a fire, a big fire, in the forest. All the animals run away. They remain huddled at the edge of the forest, afraid and helpless. These animals look up to see little Hummingbird flying as fast as she can to the stream. There, she picks up a drop of water in her beak and flies as fast as she can back to the fire. She drops the water on the fire.

She does this again and again and again. Flies to the water, picks up one drop, flies to the fire, deposits the drop. Again and again and again.

The animals finally stop Hummingbird. Big Bear asks, "Little Hummingbird, what are you doing?"

Hummingbird stops and says, simply, "I'm doing everything I can."

See this beautiful story as a YouTube video:

The big message of this simple is the sort that stops you in your tracks. What if all of us just did all that we could to fight a particular problem? The results would be nothing short of revolutionary.

So as my kids went to school this morning to their new school with new classmates and new teachers and new cubbies and new everything else, it was with that message. I sure hope that school receives them with open arms, doing all that they can to welcome my trio into their warm environment.

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