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The Little Duck Sikihpsis

The Little Duck Sikihpsis

By Beth Cuthand
Translated by Stan Cuthand
Illustrated by Mary Longman
Series: The Little Duck
Hardcover : 9781894778107, 34 pages, June 2013
Hardcover - Unavailable


An enchanting children's story about a little mud duck who wanted to be a handsome Plains Cree dancer, and how the Cree helped him be happy with himself as a duck. The little mud duck would fly over the Cree camp and observe the people. One day he decided to dress up like a Cree dancer and walk to the camp. When he is ignored by the dancers, the lonely duck returns to his pond and finds that, with the company of other mud ducks, he can be content with who he is. The Little Duck is a universal story that crosses cultural boundaries and leaves one with a lesson on the importance of self-worth.


Theytus Books is establishing an admirable reputation as a leading publisher of quality First Nation books for young readers. The Little Duck Sikihpsis is a worthy addition to the Theytus collection. The Little Duck Sikihpsis is essentially a Cree Ugly Duckling story, and it will appeal to young children and their parents. Little Duck lives all alone in a muddy swamp close to a camp of Plains Cree People. When he observes the Crees' beauty and grace, the lonely duck decides he would like to be a Plains Cree dancer. He decorates himself, weaving bright green leaves into a wreath to wear as a headdress. The little duck also ties cattail leaves to his tail feathers and paints his face and chest with clay and salt. "If he couldn't be tall, at least he could be handsome," the little duck figures. Unfortunately, when the duck begins to dance, he constantly finds himself trampled beneath the feet of the other dancers. "I'll never be a Cree," the little duck cries. "I'll always be lonely. "The Little Duck Sikihpsis is an engaging story with almost universal appeal. Because the desire to fit in with one's surrounds is of importance to most people, the story transcends cultural boundaries and should not be thought of as being a story only for First Nation People. Rather, regardless of our cultural backgrounds, the book contains the important message that we should be striving to improve our sense of self-worth. The Little Duck Sikihpsis was originally published in 1999. I am delighted that Theytus has provided the book for CM review because it is a quality publication. The book won a 2007 IP: Independent Publisher Book Award bronze medal and, in my opinion, is worthy of such recognition and acclaim.

- Canadian Material Volume XIV Number 12 February 8, 2008