Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard; illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
The verse and illustrations of this award-winning picture book teach us many things, as a diverse group of children help a grandmother make a family recipe to be enjoyed by many, where the process is as important as the product. Delve deeply in the extensive back matter that includes many ways to understand fry bread’s significance, historical information, and contemporary feelings -and remember to peek under the dust jacket! The endpapers include the names of the several hundreds of recognized tribes and those still in the process of being recognized, which serves to reinforce the fact that Native Americans are alive and thriving. Just like there is no one type of person that represents all Native Americans, there is no one recipe that is accepted by all -even within the author’s own family!
Listen to the story
Recorded reading with permission from Macmillan
Do a craft!
Take-and-Make basket-weaving kits can be picked up curbside starting on January 19th. Call or email the library at 426-3581 or email@example.com to schedule a pickup.
Fry Bread is Place mentions some states. Why were those chosen? The children are standing on a map of North America. It might take a moment to recognize it. There are many different perspectives of maps depending on what is being shown or seen as most important. Use this opportunity to look at several different map projections of North America, including a political map, a physical map, and the native land map at https://native-land.ca/. What similarities and differences do you notice? How might some political boundaries have been determined?
In Fry Bread is Place we see a map of the United States and adjacent countries without the political lines. Walk around your school grounds, or your neighborhood. Create a map that shows everything you see. Then try to create another map that shows only natural elements, such as trees, fields, rivers, mountains, etc.
According to the 2010 Census there are 625,741 people in Vermont. People that identify themselves as American Indian and Alaskan native alone are .4% of the population. An additional 2% identify with 2 or more races. How many people might identify as part Native American in Vermont?
Fry Bread is Nation shows the same text of names of tribes and nations that are shown on the endpapers. The endpapers of this book list 640 recognized and many more un-recognized tribes and nations. According to http://www.native-languages.org/vermont.htm, there are no federally recognized tribes in Vermont today, though there are Traditional Abenakis of Mazipskwik and Abenaki Nation of Mississquoi. See if you can find them in the book.
Do you have traditions in your family significant to you?
We all live in the traditional territory of Native tribes and nations. How can we acknowledge, honor, and learn from Native people?
What is meant by stolen land?
In Fry Bread is Colorthere are many different colors described. Why do you think fry bread can be many different colors?
Who is in the framed portrait on Fry Bread is Us? What clues are you using?
In Fry Bread is Art, the poem mentions sculpture, landscape, portrait. What examples of those art forms do you see in the illustration?
The poems about fry bread describe different characteristics of the food: shape, sound, color, flavor, time, art, history, place. Choose a food and describe it using as many of those characteristics as you can.
Math Challenge! Look at the recipe for Kevin's fry bread. If you were to make it, but wanted to double the batch, what wold the new measurements be for the ingredients?