Written by Melanie Florence and illustrated by Francois Thisdale
Published October 2015 by Clockwork Press
Missing Nimâmâ is a picture book narrated by two voices. The first is Kateri, a young girl being raised by her loving nokhum, her grandmother. The second is Kateri’s mother, her nimâmâ.
The story opens with Kateri asking her nokhum where her mother is. Her nokhum replies that she is lost; Kateri’s nimâmâ is “one of the lost women.” She is one of Canada’s missing Indigenous women. As Kateri reaches each of the many “firsts” in her life—first day of school, first dance, marriage, expecting a child—Nimâmâ is with her in spirit, watching over her.
At the devastating conclusion, adult Kateria receives the tragic news that, after years of “hoping against hope,” her mother has been found and is dead.
Melanie Florence’s text and Francois Thisdale’s images combine to create a heartbreaking reminder of Canada’s many missing and murdered Indigenous women and of the families and loved ones searching for them while holding out hope they will be found. Missing Nimâmâ is a complex and sensitive picture book that can be used in classrooms to open dialogue about family, loss, and resilience.
Introducing the Author and Illustrator:
Visit Melanie Florence’s website and explore her biography and other writing.
Visit Francois Thisdale’s website and explore his biography and artwork.
Learning More About the Book:
Read this review of Missing Nimâmâ.
Listen tothis CFWE TV interviewwith Melanie Florence.
Listen to Shelagh Rogers’ The Next Chapter interview with Melanie Florence about creating a picture book to open dialogue about a complex topic with readers.