My Favourite Review

Having my book reviewed is so exciting!

Here is my favorite review, reprinted here with permission of reviewer Gillian O’Reilly:

"A nine year-old Cree boy looks forward to the spring when a traveling soapstone carver visits the lodge his parents run. Lindy, the carver, gives him four pieces of soapstone, telling him that the stone itself will answer when he wonders what to carve. After dreaming of a bear, the boy carves a crooked bear (“My brother says it looks like roadkill.”), but Lindy approves.

Throughout the seasons, the young narrator looks for signs of what to carve next, finding inspiration in the world around him—from the beluga whales he sees while blueberry picking with his mother to the migrating snow geese at the fall hunt and finally the otters playing in the winter snow.

Darlene Gait, an artist from the Coast Salish Esquimault Nation, has contributed beautiful black-and-white illustrations that show the real animals that inspire them and activities of the young boy’s life.

This is a beautiful story of creativity and response to nature, neatly joined to a story of life in the north and its seasonal activities (camping out while blueberry picking, accompanying elders on the goose hunt, playing hockey both in the arena and on the frozen river). Children are shown learning to use shotguns with care and respect, in the context of the important hunt for food. Within the confines of a short novel and with gentle humour, Pinkney nicely depicts the teasing competition and camaraderie between the two brothers and the lessons the narrator learns from community elders. Bravo to the author and illustrator."

 - Gillian O'Reilly is the Editor of Canadian Children’s Book News Magazine