New children's books from Salina Bookshelf focus on Hopi corn and toys

Two new books published by Salina Bookshelf in Flagstaff, Arizona feature detailed, colorful illustrations along with  Hopi tribal dictionary approved language. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

Two new books published by Salina Bookshelf in Flagstaff, Arizona feature detailed, colorful illustrations along with Hopi tribal dictionary approved language. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Salina Bookshelf recently published two new multi-cultural children's books focused on Hopi themes.

Both "Celebrate my Hopi Corn" and "Celebrate my Hopi Toys" are examples of cross cultural, collaborative efforts between a Native author, Native illustrator and non-Native publishing house to foster a better understanding of Hopi tribal culture and Hopi tribal language while emphasizing the tribal cultural and language difference importance for readers of all ages.

First Mesa Tewa- Hopi educator Anita Poleahla wrote both books and Hopi graphic artist Emmett Navakuku illustrated the colorful, plainly written Hopi to English translations. The first book emphasizes the importance of corn and its varied uses in Hopi culture throughout the Hopi ceremonial year and the second book titled "Hopi Toys" shows the varied types of Hopi toys and dance accessories used in real Hopi ceremonies by both Hopi boys and girls.

Both books have highly detailed drawings, are small enough for little hands to hold and read from and are in a sturdy heavy thick paper stock to withstand years of use.

The beautiful illustrations of Hopi traditional themes and the Hopi to English translations are written clearly and plainly enough to understand and enjoy even by non-Hopi readers or speakers.

"Celebrate My Hopi Corn" shows the different colored ears of Hopi corn, how Hopi corn is planted and harvested, and how corn is used in both food and dance preparation.

"Celebrate My Hopi Toys" shows different types of Hopi children and adult accessories, like a Hopi lightning stick, Hopi dance sticks, rabbit sticks, Hopi tops and darts and Hopi rattles.

One of the biggest cultural and tribal language strengths of these two childrens books is that the Hopi spelling and grammatical format used in these two children's books are completely consistent with the formally accepted Third Mesa dialect and spelling that is featured in the "Hopiikwa Lavaytutuveni" (Hopi Dictionary) by Emory Sekaquaptewa that was published in 1998 by University of Arizona Press.

The Hopiikwa Lavaytutuveni (Hopi Dictionary) is both formally endorsed and used currently by the Hopi Tribe as the formal correct Hopi language dictionary in its language programs in local Hopi schools and includes correct Hopi spelling, which greatly enhances these new childrens books' educational and cultural content.

Both books are available from either Salina Bookshelf located in Flagstaff at 1120 West University Avenue or in Tuba City-Moencopi at TUUVI Travel Center, The Legacy Inn at Moencopi-Tuba City or the Tuba City Trading Post in uptown Tuba City. The books are also available at Salinabookshelf.com.

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