Welcome to our stop in the Read Around the World Summer Series hosted by the fabulous folks behindMulticultural Kid Blogs.
Multicultural Kid Blogs represents a group of bloggers dedicated to raising world citizens, through arts, activities, crafts, food, language, and love. The goal of the Read Around the World Summer Series is to share great books recommended by the bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs (and friends!) Throughout the summer, many fabulous bloggers from around the globe will be sharing great books for the entire family! Mondays are for ages 5 and under, Wednesdays for children ages 6-10, and Fridays for tweens, teens, and adults! We’ll have some additional days sprinkled in, so can fit in even more great reads for you!
All posts will be shared on our Read Around the World Summer Reading Pinterest board, so be sure to follow! You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page and G+ community!
Now, on to our recommendation…
Growing up in Canada, I have always been fascinated by the rich history, culture, and art of the First Nations people. In fact, my favorite course in undergrad was a history of the First Nations People of Canada course. I have had the privilege of living in three different provinces in Canada – Manitoba, Ontario, and British Columbia – and it is fascinating how the First Nations people in each of these areas are vastly different from one another. We are currently living in British Columbia and for this reason, I am choosing to share a book focused on the First Nations people of coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
About the Book
Title: The Salmon Twins | Author: Caroll Simpson | Publication Date: August 12, 2012 | Publisher: Heritage House | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: In her third book inspired by First Nations’ stories, children’s author and illustrator Caroll Simpson explains the significance of community values. She introduces readers to a world of creatures like Sea Lion, Killer Whale, Dogfish and Kingfisher. Her dramatic tale of young twins and their transformation shows how working together keeps a community healthy.
When new twins are born in a mythical Pacific Coast village, everyone celebrates because the birth of twins is a rare occasion; twins are the children of the salmon. But when the twins grow selfish and greedy, Thunderbird transforms them into a Two-Headed Sea Serpent. Can the Serpent’s heads learn to work together? The question becomes more important when the salmon don’t run up the river and the villagers start to go hungry. The Serpent’s heads have to co-operate with each other to solve the mystery and restore the salmon run.
Written for children aged 3 to 10, this charming story is illustrated with Simpson’s distinctive colour paintings that celebrate First Nations culture. A glossary of mythical creatures and sea life provides informative teaching points and invites further exploration of West Coast cultures.
My Thoughts: The Salmon Twins is a wonderful resource for increasing children’s knowledge of the Pacific Northwestern First Nation’s culture, art, history, and mythology. Weaving together several elements of First Nation’s folklore, Caroll Simpson tells the tale of the birth of twins who become the children of the salmon. Their greed results in their transformation into a two-headed sea serpent and leads to their banishment from the village by the great Thunderbird. The twins must learn to work together when they discover that Killer Whale is preventing the salmon from traveling upstream to their people who rely on them as their primary source of food.
Caroll Simpson has written and illustrated an absolutely beautiful book, told in a First Nations traditional story-telling style which incorporates an important life lesson about the pitfalls of greed. Simpson uses mythological beings found in the Pacific Northwest First Nations people’s culture as well as local flora and fauna to tell the story. Further, at the back of the back, Simpson includes an image and description of the supernatural creatures featured in the book each depicted in a First Nations art style. And, as a bonus, she also includes more information about sea life found in the Pacific Coastal waters. All in all, the educational value of this book is very high!
The illustrations in this book are amazing. I just love them. True to a traditional First Nations style, all the images are bright, bold, and colorful. Of course each contour, line, shape, and color has meaning and a rich and detailed history. I don’t fancy myself an art connoisseur; therefore, I was happy to see a list of resources included on the last page for those interested in learning more about First Nations art, history, and mythology. There is so much potential for further study, add-on activities, and discussion for homeschoolers or for elementary school classrooms. I highly recommend this gorgeous book for children ages 3 to 8 years old.
About the Author: Caroll Simpson
Caroll Simpson taught Native art and drama to elementary schoolchildren for many years before moving to a remote fishing lodge in BC’s northern interior. Caroll’s work is a celebration of the legends and art of the First Nations of coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. She has written and illustrated two other children’s books: The First Beaver and The First Mosquito. For more information, please visit http://carollsimpson.blogspot.ca/