Crow Helps a Friend

Orca. (Coast Salish Tales: Bk. 2). Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459836242.
Gr 1-3–This title explores themes of competition and reconciliation when Q’uleeq’e’ and Qwiwilh want to see who can climb higher in Qwiwilh’s nesting tree, with disastrous consequences. The illustrations are a combination of digital art and traditional Coast Salish techniques, with the birds lending themselves especially well to the style. Contemporary colors complement traditional shapes that are used to create the images. In the tradition of Coast Salish storytelling, the tale is intentionally moralistic and repetitive; it would make a great read-aloud. The longer sentences and Hul’q’umi’num’ words might make it difficult for beginning readers. Fritz, of the Lyackson First Nation, infuses her writing and art with Coast Salish “ways of knowing and teaching” while maintaining cross-community appeal. The book has notes on how to create Coast Salish art, how to avoid cultural appropriation, and how to pronounce some Hul’q’umi’num’ words.
VERDICT This book is especially suited for school libraries in the Pacific Northwest or any collection expanding its Indigenous collections.

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