FICTION

Encounter

Little, Brown. Oct. 2019. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316449182.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3–Luby, a professsor of Indigineous history, imagines an encounter that might have occurred in 1534 when Jacques Cartier’s ship arrived in Gaspé Bay, where Stadaconans fished. When Fisher heads out in his canoe, he meets Sailor, who has rowed from the anchored ship. Heading to shore, they spend the day together. Although they are puzzled by one another’s food and clothing, they both enjoy swimming in the bay and running along the beach to follow beluga whales. Animals that observe the humans note their similarities from casting long shadows to providing a tasty snack for mosquitos. Their day ends peacefully, with each hoping to meet again. An author’s reflection explains the impact of French exploration on Luby’s own ancestors while an historical note discusses European explorers’ disrespectful and sometimes violent treatment of Indigenous peoples. Goade’s evocative watercolor, ink, and gouache illustrations create a natural world bursting with plant and animal life. Double-page spreads of sunrise and sunset bookend the day of friendship.
VERDICT Eye-catching illustrations and a low-key but thought-provoking story could stimulate group sharing about ways we interact with people from other cultures.

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