Naaahsa is an Artist!

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A young girl celebrates her grandmother’s art and the connection between them.

Naaahsa says art is a language everyone understands. Sometimes we make art together. We draw, we bead, we sing. Sometimes Naaahsa tells stories in Blackfoot. I even get to go with her to see her art show at the National Gallery. Naaahsa is famous for her art, but I love her hugs best!

Naaahsa is an Artist! is a celebration of art, artists, and Indigenous women artists in particular. Each page comes to life with bold patterns, shapes, and Naaahsa's encouraging words that may inspire young readers to want to make art themselves.

Praise & Recognition

“This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that covers a lot of ground in 24 pages. At its heart is the relationship between the young girl and Naaahsa and how she learns to appreciate art, both in small ways like painting at home, and in big ways like attending an art gallery featuring Naaahsa’s work.”

Librarian at Syracuse City School District

"Readers will feel the safe and comforting presence of the narrator’s grandmother and her strong connection with her granddaughter.... Nevertheless, this is also a story with depth, about maintaining connection to the past through a spoken language – Blackfoot. At residential school, a defiant whisper in Blackfoot says so much: Kitsiikákomimm. I love you.'"

Quill and Quire

"This children’s book is gently inspirational...yet another quietly powerful act." 

Galleries West

Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest 2021 - Joint winner

Galleries West Best Art Books of 2023

Globe & Mail's Top Ten Children's Book of 2023

Globe 100: Best Book of 2023


Publication Date: October 3, 2023

Reading Age: 6 - 8

Genre: Picture Book

Product Format: Hardback

Pages: 24

ISBN: 978-1-77260-346-0

About the Author

Hali Heavy Shield

Hali Heavy Shield is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of the Blood Tribe of Southern Alberta. Her first book for children was inspired by the many adventures she’s had with her mom, Faye, who is also an artist. Hali’s work is influenced by experiences in her home community, including Blackfoot stories, significant sites, family, and women as sources of strength and goodness. She lives in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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