The Sockeye Mother

by Brett D. Huson and Natasha Donovan

“There’s a strong undertow today. The turbulent waters caress the backs... read more

“There’s a strong undertow today. The turbulent waters caress the backs of the little semelparous life forms emerging from their gravel nests.” The life cycle of the sockeye salmon, a keystone species in the Xsan (“River of Mist”) region of the Pacific Northwest, unfolds in a language-rich narrative that delivers science with poetic grace. The importance of the salmon to life in the region, including the life of the Gitxsan people, is at the heart of this account written by Gitxsan author Huson. Occasional scientific terms used in the narrative are footnoted and defined in boxes set into the gorgeous illustrations reminiscent of woodcuts created by Métis artist Donovan (e.g., “Semelparous means 'breeding only once in a lifetime.’”) Gitxsan words and terms such as “Xsan” are defined within the narrative. A note about the Gitxsan Nation tells more about its location (the Xsan is “also known by its colonial name the Skeena River”) and matrilineal culture. (Ages 9-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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