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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

Emma's Gift

by (author) Deborah Delaronde

illustrated by Jay Odjick

Kegedonce Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2014
Native Canadian, Multigenerational, Other, Religious
Recommended Age
6 to 9
Recommended Grade
1 to 4
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2014
    List Price

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Emma wants to participate in her community's annual 'King's Day' celebration that is held every year on January 6th. She loves to see the gifts that are given and hear the stories people tell when they visit. Her mother, however, feels that Emma is too young. When Emma's grandmother hurts herself, Emma reluctantly agrees to help. In helping her grandmother prepare and serve her King's Day meal, Emma discovers the meaning behind this special day. 'King's Day' is about celebrating Christ's birth and the Three Wise Kings who visited the baby Jesus bearing gifts on this holy day. Emma learns that 'King's Day' is not only about exchanging gifts, it's also about helping family and friends by giving one's time. Beautifully illustrated by Jay Odjick.

About the authors

I am compelled to create something that I consider â??beautiful.â? My only hope is that a reader will find what I have created beautiful, too. ~ Deborah L. DelarondeAs a child, Deborah attended Duck Bay School, where she learned to read with the Dick and Jane books. When her family moved to The Pas, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that schools had libraries â?? and books that were far more interesting than Dick and Jane! â??I remember a plain light blue book with no pictures, even on the cover; just the title, â??Beauty and the Beast.â?? I loved that story back then and still do today.â?Deborah says that while a lot of her stories are based on childhood memories, some are based on sleeping inspirations, meaning that the idea for the book developed while she was sleeping. â??When those kind of inspirations occur, I am compelled to get up and follow through with writing all the ideas and feelings associated with those ideas before I can go back to sleep again!â?Métis author Deborah L. Delaronde was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, in 1958. She grew up in the Métis community of Duck Bay, Manitoba, and has worked in Duck Bay School as a childrenâ??s librarian for the past 20 years. As a result of writing and promoting literacy, Deborah was awarded the Lieutenant-Governorâ??s Medal for Literacy.

Deborah Delaronde's profile page


Jay Odjick est artiste, auteur et membre de la communauté algonquine Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg pas loin de Maniwaki, au Québec. Il a créé des bandes dessinées, produit la série d'animation Kagagi: The Raven, diffusée au Canada, aux États-Unis et en Australie, et a illustré Vilains maringouins! de Robert Munsch.


Add bio for Jay Odjick
JAY ODJICK is an artist and writer from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Algonquin community, just outside of Maniwaki, Quebec. He has created comic books and produced the animated TV seriesKagagi: The Raven, which airs in Canada, the US and Australia. He previously illustrated Robert Munsch's picture books Blackflies, Bear for Breakfast / Makwa kidji kijebià wìsinyàn as well asThe Ocean Goes on Forever, which appears in the anthologyMunsch Mania. He is thrilled to be able to join forces with Robert Munsch to bring stories about today's Indigenous kids to a broad audience. Visit him online at

Jay Odjick's profile page

Excerpt: Emma's Gift (by (author) Deborah Delaronde; illustrated by Jay Odjick)

King's Day was a special day in Emma's community. Every year on January 6th, people would celebrate the Epiphany, and the Three Wise Kings who visited baby Jesus bearing gifts. Emma's family was busy preparing for it. Emma sat by the window using the sun's light to knit woolen fish mitts for her dad. "When will I be able to take part in King's Day?" Emma asked her mom. "Hmmm...," Mom mumbled, chewing on a sinew thread. "There's more to King's Day than you may think."Emma heard the familiar jingle of Uncle Michel's horse bells. He had a wooden box filled with pickerel, northern pike and mullets on his sleigh. "Were you able to catch my favorite fish?" Emma asked. "I didn't even need a net," Uncle Michel replied with a wink and a smile. "The fish must have known this box was for you because they jumped in there all by themselves." He held up one of his buckskin mitts showing a big gaping hole. "But look what happened when I fished your net," he said. Dad laughed, "I'm almost positive you'll be getting a new pair today." Mom always sewed and beaded buckskin mitts for Uncle Michel as a King's Day gift.Dad took the mullets from the box and began to fillet them. Emma knew that when he was done, it would be her turn to wash and then grind the fillets so her Mom could fry fish patties to feed their King's Day visitors. Emma watched him work until she heard the jingle of bells from another horse. Dad was busy so she greeted Mr. Flett. "Is your grandmother home?" he asked. "She's been waiting for you," Emma replied. "She was worried that she wouldn't have enough wood when she started cooking her King's Day meal." Grandma always sewed and beaded mukluks for Mr. Flett as a King's Day gift.

Editorial Reviews

Other titles by Deborah Delaronde

Other titles by Jay Odjick