All Grade 1 students in Canada to receive My Heart Fills With Happiness by Monique Gray Smith & Julie Flett

The picture book was chosen for the annual TD Grade One Book Giveaway. This edition includes the text in Plains Cree, as well as English or French.
My Heart Fills With Happiness / Ni Sâkaskineh Mîyawâten Niteh Ohcih is a picture book by illustrator Julie Flett (left), written by Monique Gray Smith (right) and translated by Mary Cardinal Collins. (Orca Book Publishers, Centric Photography)

My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci, written in Plains Cree as well as English or French, will be distributed to all Grade 1 students in Canada this coming fall.

The picture book was chosen for the annual Canadian Children's Book Centre's TD Grade One Book Giveaway program, which distributes 550,000 books each year.

My Heart Fills With Happiness/sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci was written by award-winning Cree, Lakota and Scottish writer Monique Gray Smith.

It was illustrated by Cree-Métis artist Julie Flett, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning illustrator. It was translated into Plains Cree by Mary Cardinal Collins.

The story encourages readers to appreciate the small things that bring happiness, like feeling the warmth of the sun on your face and the wonderful smell of bannock baking.

Smith's previous books include the novels Tilly and Tilly and the Crazy Eights, as well as the YA nonfiction book Speaking Our Truth.

Flett is a children's illustrator and writer with 14 books under her belt.

Her work includes When We Were Alone written by David A. Robertson, The Girl and the Wolf written by Katherena Vermette and Little You written by Richard Van Camp.

The TD Grade One Book Giveaway program is funded by the TD Bank Group and has occurred annually since 2000.

Past books selected for program include Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender, Small Saul by Ashley Spires, Boy Soup by Loris Lesynski and illustrated by Michael Martchenko and Alligator Stew by Dennis Lee.