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Nimoshom and His Bus

By Penny M. Thomas
Illustrated by Karen Hibbard
Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Cars & Trucks, Business, Careers, Occupations, Diversity & Multicultural
Imprint: HighWater Press

Interest Age: 3–5
Grade: k–2
Reading Level: Lexile 500L
Hardcover : 9781553797081, 32 pages, February 2018
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553797333, 32 pages, December 2017
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553797340, 32 pages, December 2017

Learn basic conversational words in Cree with Nimoshom!


Nimoshom loved to drive the school bus. Every day, on the way to and from school, he had something to say. Sometimes, he told the kids silly stories. Sometimes, he taught the kids a new word in Cree.

Nimoshom and His Bus introduces basic Cree words. A glossary is included in the back of the book.


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. [. ..] The illustrator’s varying the visuals between full double spreads and single page illustrations keeps the pacing lively. Amidst a rural fall setting, with woodland animals, children, and the school bus, Nimoshom’s humorous nature shines through these gentle illustrations. At the end of this story, you just want to give Nimoshom a great big hug!
- Anita Miettunen, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

A simple but endearing glimpse of Cree language and life. — Kirkus Reviews

"In this bilingual book, readers follow a bus driver picking up kids and dropping them off before and after school. Like the students on the bus, readers quickly learn that the driver's native language is Cree, and he often speaks to them in his native language. Readers learn that "Nimoshom" means "my grandfather" and that "Ekosani" means thank you" as the author (of Cree descent herself) weaves Cree words into the text, and each new spread almost feels like a gentle wave: yes, we're subtly learning new words, but it never feels strenuous or forced, rather it's calm and poetic. "
- Let's Talk Picture Books

While Penny M. Thomas' story is not a plot-driven allegory or a message-based lesson, Nimoshom and His Bus is 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.

There is much to learn from Nimoshom, whether as a bus student or a reader of the book, and it's all done gracefully, not unlike Nimoshom himself.
- Helen Kubiw, CanLit for Little Canadians

"All children would be fortunate to have Nimoshom as their bus driver! With a gentle understanding of his charges, Nimoshom not only picks up and drops off schoolchildren but imparts love and kind discipline while using his Cree language. A relatable introduction to basic Cree, with lovely watercolors. A word guide at the end summarizes the words used. "
- NetGalley review

If you're a regular reader of AICL, you know that we're always delighted by books by Native writers--especially ones set in the present. Books like Nimoshom and His Bus provide Native children with mirrors that non-Native children find in abundance. [. ..] 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

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

. ..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

A simple but endearing glimpse of Cree language and life.

- Kirkus Reviews

Among MOTHERS 50+ Children's Books by Indigenous and Native Authors & Illustrators list