Auntie's Rez Surprise

  • Illustrated By: Ellie Arscott
  • Pages:24
  • Publisher:Second Story Press
  • Themes:rez dogs, rez puppy, Indigenous aunties, Nehiyaw, Plains Cree
  • Available:09/19/2023
  • Lexile:530L
  • Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient:N

Auntie always greets Cree in Nehiyaw when she comes for a visit. When Auntie arrives with a surprise gift hidden in her bag, Cree can’t wait to discover what it is. The first clue? It’s from the rez. As Cree tries to figure out what it might be, the bag starts to move. Cree is thrilled when the bag opens and out jumps a rez puppy!

Cree asks Auntie how to take care of the new puppy. Auntie talks to Cree about the importance of dogs in their culture. They are our relatives, she explains, and need to be well taken care of. Cree decides she will name her new puppy "Atim", the Nehiyaw word for dog.

Winner of the Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest


Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest Jury Statement

“Everyone has an auntie like the auntie in this book! She is eclectic and kooky and brings surprises that come with important teachings about responsibility and reciprocity.”

– Nancy Cooper

Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest Jury Statement

“The Auntie in this story sounds so cool and I can just imagine how exciting it would be when she came to visit. This story is fun and sweet and has a great message about taking care of our pets and one another.”

– Jodie Callaghan

"Auntie’s Rez Surprise showcases the importance of Elders and how their teachings honour the beliefs and values of Indigenous culture. The retelling of these values through stories, allows the wisdom to be passed on to Indigenous youth.... Highly Recommended."

– CM: Canadian Review of Materials
Second Story Press Indigenous Writing Contest   | 2021  |  
Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Shining Willow   | 2024  |  Short-listed