Saddle Stitch Publishing has had the honour of working with Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society and the City of Edmonton’s Aboriginal Relations Office to create custom 24-page books that highlight the New in Town service and the Flying Eagle recreation program, respectively.
These books serve a double purpose as a marketing tool as well as a keepsake for children who have participated in the Flying Eagle program or whose families are new to Edmonton. Bent Arrow and the City of Edmonton have printed copies of these books to be distributed at various events; for those who were unable to obtain a hard copy, the books are available as free, downloadable PDFs at Little Cree Books.
Our process typically begins with a brainstorming session with staff from the given organization. We spend time going over all the things a child might see, feel, tough, smell, taste, and experience while participating in the program or service being featured. We then craft a story arc from these suggestions, using a level of language that is comfortable for young readers, and featuring as many scenarios and sensations from the brainstorming session as possible. As the text moves through the approval process, we start on the fun stuff: the illustrations! Sometimes we have no idea where a project will go or how the characters will take shape, but we’ve always been delighted with our results at the end.
We are thrilled that our previous clients have all agreed sponsor fluent Plains Cree speakers to translate our books into Cree. We believe in the value of contributing to the library of resources available to early Cree readers, because we recognize that healthy heritage languages (i.e., ones that are used in homes, in public, on signage, in literature, etc.) have substantial positive effects on the health of communities. (See, for example, Chandler and Lalonde’s 1998 and 2008 publications.)
Please contact Caylie if you or your organization are interested in developing a custom book to highlight a program, service, accomplishment, or milestone.