International Rights

Nibi’s Water Song

By: Sunshine Tenasco
Illustrated by: Chief Lady Bird
  • ISBN 9781443107891, Hardcover
  • 32 Pages | Ages 4 to 8

Determination, teamwork and perseverance together bring clean water for Nibi and all her friends.

Nibi is the Anishinaabemowin word for water. In Nibi's Water Song , an Indigenous girl on the search for clean water to drink. Though she is faced with repeated obstacles, Nibi's joyful and determined energy becomes a catalyst for change and action as her community, and then in widening circles the country and government, rally around her to make clean drinking water available for all. In a story perfectly levelled for young readers, there is a strong underlying message that even when a problem seems too large to face, every bit that everyone does helps. And inaction in the face of a wrong is not an option.

Sunshine Tenasco, an Anishinabeg activist for clean water, has an amazing optimistic spirit that shines through her writing. The hopeful tone and lyrical read-aloud quality of this gentle allegorical tale open the door to conversations and action aimed at young children, whether they are on a reserve that does not have clean water or they are living with access to clean water. Chief Lady Bird's stunning, original artwork carries through the themes of strength, hope, and resilience in an incredible collaboration of talent.

Rights Sold

  • English (US) – Lee and Low
  • French (N. Amer) – Éditions Scholastic

Selling Points

• An upbeat story about the importance of clean water.
• Encourages discussion on other environmental issues.
• Author and illustrator are both active in youth outreach and education in their communities.
• Models a way children can bring about change —demonstrating that though young, they are not powerless.


  • Short-listed, IODE Toronto Jean Throop Award, 2020
  • Long-listed, First Nation Communities READ Award, 2020
  • Commended, Indigenous Picture Book Collection, IBBY Canada, 2021
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection, 2020

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