NONFICTION

If You Want To Visit a Sea Garden

Groundwood. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554989706.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 2–In this delightful book, Weisman and Vickers spotlight the value of edible sea gardens. These gardens can be found along the coast of Puget Sound in Washington State through British Columbia and all the way to Alaska. They were maintained by people of the First Nations. Archaeologists have determined that some of these sea garden walls are 3,500 years old. Canadian First Nations artist Vickers’s stunning illustrations use a cool palette and include Indigenous cultural symbols throughout. Weisman’s text focuses on clam culture. In the book’s narrative, it is summer and low tide. An adult and a child travel to the beach with a bucket, a shovel, and their clamming tools. After gathering the protein-rich foods, the gardeners clean up and prepare the sandy beach for the smaller clams to grow. Their care and attention to detail allow this healthy food supply to flourish. The back matter consists of information about sea gardens, and every word is enlightening.
VERDICT The text and illustrations combine grace and knowledge, offering a stunning nonfiction picture book that celebrates First Nations cultural traditions.

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