Saturday, November 9, 11AM
Join author Cheryl Minnema at Wild Rumpus for a story time featuring her lovely new picture book, Johnny's Pheasant.
Cheryl Minnema (Waabaanakwadookwe) is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She was born in Minneapolis and raised on the Mille Lacs Reservation. Along with writing children’s literature and poetry, she creates Ojibwe floral beadwork and nature photography. She is author of Hungry Johnny, which was a 2015 Native America Calling book club selection.
Pre-order Johnny's Pheasant and have it signed by Cheryl Minnema! Can't make it to the event? Just indicate to whom you would like your book signed in the customer notes when you order online here, or call the store at 612-920-5005. You can pick up your signed copy of Johnny's Pheasant after November 9.
An encounter with a pheasant (which may or may not be sleeping) takes a surprising turn in this sweetly serious and funny story of a Native American boy and his grandma
"Pull over, Grandma! Hurry!” Johnny says. Grandma does, and Johnny runs to show her what he spotted near the ditch: a sleeping pheasant. What Grandma sees is a small feathery hump. When Johnny wants to take it home, Grandma tries to tell him that the pheasant might have been hit by a car. But maybe she could use the feathers for her craftwork? So home with Grandma and Johnny the pheasant goes . . .
It’s hard to say who is most surprised by what happens next—Grandma, Johnny, or the pheasant. But no one will be more delighted than the reader at this lesson about patience and kindness and respect for nature, imparted by Grandma’s gentle humor, Johnny’s happy hooting, and all the quiet wisdom found in Cheryl Minnema’s stories of Native life and Julie Flett’s remarkably evocative and beautiful illustrations.
“I like to eat, eat, eat,” choruses young Johnny as he watches Grandma at work in the kitchen. Wild rice, fried potatoes, fruit salad, frosted sweet rolls—what a feast! Johnny can hardly contain his excitement. In no time, he’ll be digging in with everyone else, filling his belly with all this good food.
But wait. First there is the long drive to the community center. And then an even longer Ojibwe prayer. And then—well, young boys know to follow the rules: elders eat first, no matter how hungry the youngsters are. Johnny lingers with Grandma, worried that the tasty treats won’t last. Seats at the tables fill and refill; platters are emptied and then replaced. Will it ever be their turn? And will there be enough?
As Johnny watches anxiously, Grandma gently teaches. By the time her friend Katherine arrives late to the gathering, Johnny knows just what to do, hunger pangs or no. He understands, just as Grandma does, that gratitude, patience, and respect are rewarded by a place at the table—and plenty to eat, eat, eat.
Writer and beadwork artist Cheryl Kay Minnema is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Artist Wesley Ballinger, also a member of the Mille Lacs Band, works for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.