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Children's Fiction Country & Ethnic

Caribou Song

by (author) Tomson Highway

illustrated by John Rombough

Publisher
Fifth House Books
Initial publish date
Aug 2016
Category
Country & Ethnic, Native Canadian, Fantasy & Magic
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781927083499
    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price
    $14.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781897252611
    Publish Date
    Apr 2013
    List Price
    $19.95

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 18
  • Grade: 2 to 12

Description

Joe and Cody are young Cree brothers who follow the caribou all year long, tucked into their dog sled with Mama and Papa. To entice the wandering herds, Joe plays his accordion and Cody dances, whirling like a young caribou.

They are so busy playing and dancing, they don't hear the rumble of the caribou. Bursting from the forest, ten thousand animals fill the meadow. Joe is engulfed; he can barely see Cody a few yards away. Their parents seem to have disappeared.

And yet what should be a moment of terror turns into something mystical and magical, as the boys open their arms and their hearts to embrace the caribou spirit.

Written in English with Cree translations

About the authors

Tomson Highway
Tomson Highway was born near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. Living a nomadic lifestyle with no access to books, television or radio, Highway’s parents would tell their children stories, kindling Highway’s life-long interest in the oral tradition of storytelling.

Tomson Highway is widely recognized for his tremendous contribution to the development of Aboriginal theatre in both Canada and around the world.

In 1994, he was inducted into the Order of Canada, the first Aboriginal writer to be so honoured.

Tomson Highway's profile page

John Rombough is a Chipewyan Dene artist living in the Northwest Territories. This is his first picture book.

John Rombough's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This beautiful book is about two Cree brothers who attract thousands of caribou with their song and dance. Readers are drawn to the unique illustrations and appreciate the opportunity to learn more about First Nations Peoples. Text is presented in both English and Cree, which adds an element of authenticity and sophistication that families appreciates."
The Toy Testing Council

"Tomson Highway's mastery creates an exciting, action-packed plot. Elements of suspense simultaneously entertain beauty, magic, and whimsy. Highway artfully crafts his scenes with the vivid river imagery capturing the full drama of the caribou's presence - the sound of their hooves beating on the earth like the pounding of drums. Caribou Song is an experience for the senses.
"John Rombough's illustrations complement Highway's text. A textured brush strokes vibrant colors across the sky, breathing life into the vast expanse of the wilderness. Intricate acrylic silhouettes frame the page and juxtapose the jewel-toned images that create the landscape and characters. The pages mirror the vibrant youthful energy and excitement of the characters and story.
"Caribou Song is a beautiful marriage of story and illustration."
Highly Recommended.
CM Magazine

"Caribou Song is a story of family, tradition, spirit, and livelihood. Music weaves the elements together, making them soar just as Highway's words and Rombough's art beautifully and evocatively express a way of life that has slipped (or is slipping) away. Rombough's illustrations in Caribou Song are strongly influenced by the Woodland (or Anishinaabe) School, with its emphasis on dark outlines, vivid colours, and visionary imagery. Founding member Norval Morrisseau's iconic style lives on in Rombough's work, but where they diverge is in the almost effervescent quality of Rombough's paintings. Bubbling with circular imagery and spots of amethyst, sapphire and topaz, framed in black and laid over flat washes of colour, each scene is like a pane of stained glass; a mix of storytelling and spirituality that is simply magnificent."
32pages.ca

"Rombough's illustrations are infused with great energy, which is especially intriguing since the broad black lines contain only static shapes of colour layered on the variously tinted pages. There is magic here that is highly reminiscent of stain glass artistry and, like the stained glass pieces, engage the viewer into active participation in the storytelling experience. The story, too, contains magic.
Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars"
— The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

Other titles by Tomson Highway