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Nimoshom and His Bus

By Penny M. Thomas
Illustrated by Karen Hibbard
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Cars & Trucks, Business, Careers, Occupations, Diversity & Multicultural
Big Ideas: Contemporary Setting, Diverse and Inclusive Representation, Identity
Cultures & Peoples: Cree
Indigenous Languages: Cree

Interest Age: 3–5
Grade: p–k
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell L, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 500L
Hardcover : 9781553797081, 32 pages, October 2017
Paperback : 9781774921166, 24 pages, January 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553797333, 32 pages, December 2017
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553797340, 32 pages, December 2017

Take a ride on the school bus with Nimoshom and learn common Cree words and phrases.


In this warm and joyful picture book highly recommended by Debbie Reese, children learn Cree from Nimoshom, their school bus driver.

Based on the author’s memories of her grandfather, Nimoshom is not your average bus driver. He loves to drive the school bus, tell silly stories, and share his language with the kids who ride his bus.

Nimoshom and His Bus introduces readers to common Cree words and phrases alongside the common childhood experience of riding the school bus. A Cree word list is included in the back of the book.


Part language primer, part loving tribute, this picture book adds up to a lovely addition for most library collections.

School Library Journal

We’re always delighted by books by Native writers—especially ones set in the present. The straightforward text is terrific. Hibbard’s illustrations perfectly capture the warmth and joy of the kids on that bus, and the guy who drives their bus. I highly recommend Nimoshom and His Bus! It’d be a simple thing to use other Native words in addition to–or instead of–the Cree words in the book.

Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature

. ..a rhythmic pacing and a conversational quality that makes for an enjoyable read-aloud experience. ..loose, expressive mixed-media illustrations capture the warm relationship between nimoshom and the children. ..

Minh Lê for, The Horn Book Magazine

A simple but endearing glimpse of Cree language and life.

Kirkus Reviews

Through accessible language and engaging visual resources, readers are introduced to basic Cree as Nimoshom responds in this language to the children who ride his bus. Amidst a rural fall setting, with woodland animals, children, and the school bus, Nimoshom’s humorous nature shines through these gentle illustrations.

Anita Miettunen, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

A sweet introduction to some simple Cree words in the context of a common-place activity for many children. Karen Hibbard, who uses watercolours and pastels to create a gentle background for Nimoshom's day on his bus, gives the story a grassroots mood, highly appropriate for a routine day of activity and interaction for this bus driver and his charges. It's very relatable.

Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians