Many people have come to recognize this as “orange shirt day” which happens on September 30th. But you might be wondering about how to explain this to your little babe. Well, just like we always do, we use books. Books are an easy introduction to difficult topics, and can often make these challenging conversations a little bit easier to understand for your little one. While there aren’t a whole lot of books specific to Orange Shirt Day itself, there are books that speak to residential schools itself. First there is Phyllis’s Orange Shirt by Phyllis Webstad, edited by Allison Parker. This is the picture book adaptation of the true story of Phyllis Webstad, whose story is the foundation behind the concept of the “orange shirt”. Stolen Words by Melanie Florence is a sensitive intergenerational story about the impact of residential schools. When a young girl asks her grandfather to speak words in his language of Cree, he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a little boy. The granddaughter sets out to help him find his language again. When We Were Alone by David A Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett, is about a young girl who notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak Cree and spend so much time with her family? As she asks questions her grandmother shares her experience in a residential school. Each of these three books sensitively introduces the topic of Residential Schools, which can help explain the reason behind why you are choosing to put an Orange Shirt on your child come September 30th. On a path to truth and reconciliation, we all must continue to strive to recognize the history that our country holds. We’d also like to encourage you to seek out more indigenous authored titles through GoodMinds.Com, a local indigenous owned book store in Brantford, Ontario.