Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
Based on Haida artist Robert Davidson's own experiences with Tsinii (his grandfather), this tender story highlights intergenerational knowledge and authentic learning experiences.
Off the northern tip of Haida Gwaii, a boy goes fishing with Tsinii, his grandfather. As they watch the weather, jig for halibut, and row with the tides, the boy realizes there’s more to learn from Tsinii than how to catch a fish.
Written by the creators of Potlatch as Pedagogy, this book brings the Sk'ad'a Principles to life through the art of Janine Gibbons.
About the authors
Sara Florence Davidson (she/her/hers) is a Haida/Settler Assistant Professor in Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Previously, she was an educator working with adolescents in the K-12 system in British Columbia and Yukon Territory. Sara is the co-author of Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning through Ceremony, which she wrote with her father, and Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii, which she wrote with her stepmother, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson.
When she is not reading or writing, Sara can be found walking with her dog, drinking tea, or listening to stories and learning something new.
Robert Davidson is a carver, sculptor, painter, printmaker and jeweller, whose work is in private and public collections internationally. He is also a student of the Haida language, culture and history, and performs Haida songs and dances as a member of the Rainbow Creek Dancers. Two books have been published on his work, Robert Davidson, Haida Printmaker by Hilary Stewart and Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn edited by Ian M. Thom, in conjunction with a major retrospective of his work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Janine Gibbons, a Haida Raven of the Double-Fin Killer Whale Clan, Brown Bear House, is a multi-disciplinary artist and award-winning illustrator. Janine’s works are inspired by the waters and lands of the Pacific Northwest, and their myriad colours, energies, and languages. Janine graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Janine has illustrated four books in the Sealaska Heritage’s Baby Raven Reads series, including Raven Makes the Aleutians, an AIYLA Honor Book, and most recently Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan (The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales), which is entirely in the Haida language Xaad Kíl.
Among The Globe and Mail's Kids' Books Gift Guide
The Globe and Mail
Among CBC Books The Best Canadian Picture Books of 2021
I love this story! Beautifully illustrated. Beautifully told.
Katherena Vermette, The Girl and the Wolf
Evocative and full of care, this beautiful book is an inspiring testimonial to the power of family relationships and the natural world.
The Charity Report
Sara and Robert Davidson share a beautiful and tenderly written story that takes readers out for a day on the ocean with Robert and Tsinii (his grandpa). We are introduced to gaffs and jigging, the movements of the tides and skies, and the importance of traditional harvesting. Janine Gibbons’s artwork poetically captures the coastal atmosphere, and the love and care between grandson and grandfather. Absolutely stunning.
Julie Flett, author/illustrator Birdsong
My father said once that we cannot forget the importance of Elders. He was worried that we don’t respect them like we used to, and wanted that to change. This book is a love letter to Elders, who are our doorway to the past, to the traditions, languages, and ways of living that give us not just identity, but life. It is at once poetic and calming, in both its words and illustrations, and gifts knowledge to us from those that have been entrusted with it.
David A. Robertson, Governor General's Award-winning author