Former Halifax Poet Laureate and second-generation residential school survivor Rebecca Thomas writes honestly and powerfully in this companion piece to Rita Joe's I Lost My Talk. Includes vibrant illustrations from Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young.
"Halifax-based publisher Nimbus Publishing have achieved something special, when they decided to both re-publish Rita Joe's poem and commission award-winning young Mi'kmaw poet Rebecca Thomas to write a companion poem, which is entitled I'm Finding My Talk. The texts in these two simultaneously published picture books are accompanied by powerful acrylic illustrations in rich colours created by Mi'kmaw artist Pauline Young. The three creators' voices combined make readers witness the cruelties indigenous Canadians were subjected to in the past, while at the same time providing a heartfelt and powerful plea for the way that new generations can reclaim their families' culture."
— White Ravens 2020 Selection committee (from catalogue)
"This poem delicately continues the story in the first book, without overtaking it. The poet is still straightforward, but perhaps more vulnerable, uprooted: she's looking for the talk the schools took away before she was even born, stolen from her father.... The art in this book is, apart from the opening page reference back to her father's residential school experience, brighter and more vibrant than in Rita Joe's I Lost My Talk, which makes perfect sense and rounds out the journey from grimness to nuanced optimism. It has a dreamlike, aspirational quality: We're not there yet, it says, but we're working on it."
"This is the time for these books. Well, no: it's past time. I wish I'd seen them as a student, myself, but I'm glad they're out there now, at a time Canadians are reckoning with our past and present— and choosing future directions. It's time Rita Joe was allowed to speak directly to us, children and adults alike, and that Rebecca Thomas was given the chance to bring her sequel to us, too. I thank Nimbus for sending me these books. I encourage you, all of you, to get your own copies, examine them, read them, and think about what we're being told."
"I Lost My Talk and I'm Finding My Talk are inseparable sister pieces meant to stand side-by-side. Beautifully illustrated by Pauline Young, these books read like a conversation...one that Joe and Thomas invite readers young and old to join in."
— [EDIT] Magazine(Summer 2020)
"Published as a companion to the picture book I Lost My Talk, featuring the famous poem by Rita Joe, both volumes explore the legacy of Canada's residential schools. They feature vibrant illustrations by Pauline Young that bring the words alive with emotional nuance. This remarkable pair of books possesses the rare ability of being suited to readers of all ages: three to six-year-olds, the traditional intended audience of picture books, will be captivated by the bright, lively illustrations; elementary and middle school children will find their Social Studies curriculum enriched by experiencing these important concepts rendered creatively; teens and adults will gain insight and empathy by enjoying these beautiful poems."
—CM Reviews Highly Recommended (5 stars), https://www.cmreviews.ca/node/1417