Powwow Day by Traci Sorell and Madelyn Goodnight

Hello, Traci Sorell! Hello, Madelyn Goodnight! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! Thank you so much for stopping by to share and celebrate Powwow Day. Madelyn, please take us on a tour of the cover. 

Madelyn Goodnight: I wanted the excitement and energy of the powwow to really show through on the cover, so I tried to convey all of the beautiful colors, patterns, jewelry, and dances that are showcased at them! On the front, we have River looking on to the whole scene, and taking in the drum circle to her right, the jingle dancers behind them, and the crowd of the people to her left that are also watching! I wanted to add as many narrative elements as I could that would interest readers. Powwows always have a mix of traditional and modern dress, and invite everyone to come and appreciate the culture, whether they are dancing or not. I hope everyone can feel the mix of emotions that River is feeling through the cover art.

Thank you for a wonderful tour! Yes, you can feel River's mix of emotions! 



Traci, I love independent bookshops. Imagine Red Planet Books & Comics asks you to fill out a shelftalker about Powwow Day

Traci Sorell: River loves dancing in her jingle dress at the powwow with her family. But what will happen at this year’s event? She’s recently been ill, and, while she’s feeling better, she’s not as strong as usual. Will she dance or find another way to enjoy the event? Read and find out!


Madelyn, please finish the following sentence starters: 

Powwow Day is a beautiful story about the love of one’s culture and heritage, and the perseverance of River, and how her family’s love and support help her through her struggles.

Picture books are important tools that can help us grow, laugh, and learn new things. There is a magic to storytelling that Indigenous people have always known, and it’s lovely to carry that on with books for everyone to enjoy.


Traci, please finish the following sentence starters: 

Madelyn Goodnight’s illustrations invite readers into the story. I think everyone will want to turn each page to see what bursts of beautiful bright colors, intricacies on powwow regalia, and expressive faces on the characters will be revealed.

Did you know that Madelyn’s grandmother Lila Dean McManus, and I worked together when I directed a national Native nonprofit before writing for young people? She served on the board of directors. A full-blood Chickasaw Nation citizen, Ms. Dean devoted her life to helping those in her tribe and others across Indian Country. I love how all these years later her legacy lives on—still reaching people through the work of her gifted granddaughter.

Congratulations, Traci and Madelyn! 


Madelyn Goodnight is a Chickasaw illustrator and designer who loves everything to do with art and creativity. She lives in Oklahoma City with her two little dogs, Henry and Maisy, who give her plenty of inspiration.


Traci Sorell has won multiple awards for her fiction and nonfiction books for young people. An enrolled Cherokee Nation citizen, she lives with her family on the tribe's reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.




Look for Powwow Day on February 8, 2022. 

Charlesbridge's Description

It's powwow day—but eight-year-old River can't dance this year. She's been very sick for a very long time.

This uplifting contemporary picture book by award-winning author and Cherokee citizen Traci Sorell follows River as she struggles with the isolation of a serious illness and the frustration of her physical limits—and as she finds solace in the healing power of community. Back matter explains the history and functions of powwows, which are held across the United States and Canada and are open to both Native Americans and non-Native visitors.


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