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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

A Magical Sturgeon

by (author) Joseph Dandurand

illustrated by Elinor Atkins

Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Native Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Written and illustrated in the tradition of the Kwantlen people, Joseph Dandurand's second book is an endearing tale of two sisters and their connection with nature.

In the water sat a sturgeon, born there, so they say, thousands of years ago, though the sturgeon themselves have been here for two hundred million years. It was at first a little egg, a big egg, born into the river. Now the sturgeon is back, but how did it get here? How did the first sturgeon come to be? Earth and the river, moons and suns and clouds. Time, thousands of years and the Skwó:wech has seen it all. But what gift does the sturgeon have for us?

So begins this second charming story for children by Kwantlen storyteller Joseph Dandurand. The sturgeon, spirit of the great river, eludes human fishers until two young sisters neglect to follow their mother’s instructions. What follows provides a moving exploration of the importance of sharing and kinship with all other living things.

The story is told with grace and simplicity by a master storyteller in the great tradition of the Kwantlen people. Accompanied by Elinor Atkins’s illustrations, A Magical Sturgeon is a touching follow-up to Dandurand’s bestselling children’s book The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets.

About the authors

JOSEPH A. DANDURAND is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River east of Vancouver. He is the Heritage and Lands Officer for the Kwantlen territory and has been performing his duties for over 15 years. He has been a Playwright-in-Residence for the Museum of Civilization in Hull in 1995 and for Native Earth in Toronto in 1996. He studied Theatre and Direction at Algonquin College and University of Ottawa. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has also authored a radio script which was produced by CBC Radio in 1999.RANDY MORIN is a teacher, storyteller and English-Cree translator from the Big River First Nation, Treaty Six area. He is specializing in literary, radio and video translations from English to Cree. He is a strong supporter of maintaining and teaching of Cree language and culture and shares this knowledge in the classroom as a high school teacher in Saskatoon, SK.

Joseph Dandurand's profile page

Elinor Atkins (Miməwqθelət, “the first bird to sing in the morning”) is a member of the Kwantlen First Nation and a Nɬeʔkepmx artist. Her works draw from the traditional teachings of the Coastal and Interior Salish culture and a deep connection to the land and water. She creates in different mediums including illustration, painting, printmaking, wood carving and public art installation. She illustrated The Girl Who Loved the Birds and A Magical Sturgeon; the latter was longlisted for the 2023 First Nations Communities READ Award.

Elinor Atkins' profile page


  • Long-listed, First Nation Communities READ

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