First Blade of Sweetgrass


In this Own Voices Native American picture book, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making.

She must overcome her impatience while learning to distinguish sweetgrass from other salt marsh grasses, but slowly the spirit and peace of her surroundings speak to her, and she gathers sweetgrass as her ancestors have done for centuries, leaving the first blade she sees to grow for future generations.

This sweet, authentic story from a Maliseet mother and her Passamaquoddy husband includes backmatter about traditional basket making and a Wabanaki glossary. The book is written by Suzanne Greenlaw (Orono, ME) Maliseet and a citizen of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Gabriel Frey (Orono, ME) Passamaquoddy and a citizen of Passamaquoddy at Sipayik and illustrated by Nancy Baker (Thomaston, ME).