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Children's Fiction Music

Grand Chief Salamoo Cook is Coming to Town!

by (author) Tomson Highway

illustrated by Delphine Renon

The Secret Mountain
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Music, Native American
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Aug 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 7 to 9
  • Grade: 2 to 3


Once upon a magical time, a young rabbit named Weeskits hurried home to Kisoos?a town known as the Earth's belly button?to deliver some thrilling news. Salamoo Cook, the Grand Chief of all rabbits in the world, was on his way to announce a mysterious contest. The prize? A year's supply of all-healing waaskee-choos juice fresh from spruce cones that have just fallen. Would Weeskits be able to help his brother Keegach win the juice to rid his wife of the dreadful manchoos? From Tomson Highway, acclaimed author and playwright, best known for his plays "The Rez Sisters" and "Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing" and most recently his award-winning memoir, "Permanent Astonishment." Grand Chief Salamoo Comes to Town! is a laugh-out-loud riot of a tale, interspersed with eight jazzy songs performed in Cree. This musical picture book includes a QR code to access the narrated story and songs online and a glossary of Cree words used throughout the tale.

About the authors

Tomson Highway was born near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. His father, Joe, was a hunter, fisherman and sled-dog racer, and his family lived a nomadic lifestyle. With no access to books, television or radio, Highway’s parents would tell their children stories; thus began Highway’s life-long interest in the oral tradition of storytelling. When he was six, Highway was taken from his family and placed in residential school in The Pas; he subsequently went to high school in Winnipeg and then travelled to London to study at the University of Western Ontario, earning a music degree in 1975 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. Instead of becoming a professional concert musician as he had at one point contemplated, however, Highway decided instead to dedicate his life to the service of his people. Fluent in Cree, English and French, he was for six years the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts, the first and most enduring Native professional company in Canada which he also helped found. From 1975 to 1978 Highway worked as a cultural worker for the Native Peoples’ Resource Centre. He has worked for the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture and also for the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres as a program analyst. From 1983 to 1985 he worked as a freelance theatre artist before becoming the artistic director of the De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Company in 1986. He has been writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and Concordia University. 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

Delphine Renon is a French illustrator, ceramicist, and graphic designer. After graduating from École de Communication visuelle de Paris, she joined Éditions Nathan jeunesse where she became artistic director in 1998. Since 2014, she has illustrated over 30 picture books including The Quiet Crocodile and Emmett and Caleb, which was nominated for the 2020 Kate Greenaway Medal.

Delphine Renon's profile page

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