Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The First Americans by Kelly Bakshi

What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than remembering our Native American heritage.  The First Americans by Kelly Bakshi, depicts the lifestyle, artifacts, activities, and products of several Native American tribes. 

First we meet the Inuit tribe of Alaska with their igloo homes.  We see what food they hunt, eat, use, in their daily activities.  Then on to the Kwakuitl tribe, off the Northwest coast of the United States.  The Kwakuitl tribe fish for salmon in canoes, and build Totem poles, representative of their clan or special animal. 

From the West coast we go southwest and meet the Hopi tribe.  They build Pueblo apartment homes made from sun-dried clay bricks.  The high apartments have ladder access to provide protection.  Kachina Dolls are made by the Hopi tribe to honor their gods. 

On the Great Plains we find the Dakota tribe; buffalo hunters, who live in portable “teepee” tents, made of buffalo skins.  They hunt with bows and arrows and use all parts of the buffalo.  In the Northeast is the Iroquoi, a powerful league of five tribes.  They hunt, fish, and farm.  This is a matriarchal society, with woman honored and powerful.  Finally, we go southeast, to the Natchez tribe, who live in clay mud-plastered wooden huts.  They farm and have a strict class system.

The final chapter concludes with games and fun pastimes.  Many of our favorite childhood games came from Native Americans, such as tug-of-war, wrestling, racing, hidden stone, toss up, and storytelling. 

This book provides interesting facts and insights about our Native American heritage that children will enjoy, plus a word search review activity.  Look to The First Americans, by Kelly Bakshi, finding its place in the elementary classroom library.


Available from Guardian Angel Publishing,


  1. I think you are 100% correct Penelope. This book will most likely find it's way into the classroom. Thanks so much for such a great review. I'm wishing Kelly great success with her wonderful new educational book for children.

  2. Thanks, Susan, for your comments. I'm looking forward to your review next week, too. Blessings for a happy Fourth.

  3. Penelope- I really appreciate your thorough review. Thanks so much!