Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
In an intergenerational winter’s story full of quiet wonder, a little boy takes his grandfather for a walk down a forest trail.
The boy shows Grandpa how to jump in the snow and how to make it splash into the creek. Grandpa shows the boy rabbit tracks and deer hiding among the trees. They greet their animal neighbors by name: Raven, Rabbit, Deer, Sparrow. Back home, the little boy sets the table with cookies while Grandpa pours the milk. It has been a glorious afternoon, and soon there will be books and blankets and the big armchair by the fire.
In Raven, Rabbit, Deer, Governor General's Award-nominated author Sue Farrell Holler casts a spell of simple wonder as small child earnestly sets out to take care of his grandfather for the day. Grandpa wisely gratifies this sweet self-importance while passing on important lessons: how to greet a raven…how to know a deer’s tracks…how to be family. Illustrator Jennifer Faria creates illustrations so cozy they make the winter’s day feel warm.
About the authors
Sue Farrell Holler is the Governor General’s Award-nominated author of the YA novel Cold White Sun as well as the middle-grade novel Lacey and the African Grandmothers and several picture books, including Raven, Rabbit, Deer. Sue grew up on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, where she wrote avidly to more than a hundred pen pals across North America. She later channelled her passion for writing into journalism studies at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Sue has lived in the Northwest Territories and today resides in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Jennifer Faria is an illustrator, painter, and graphic designer who studied at Central Technical School and George Brown College in Toronto. Her works can be found in the collections of celebrities, politicians, and especially parents, as one of her specialties is portraits of babies and small children. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her husband and three children. While illustrating the grandfather in Raven, Rabbit, Deer and its sequel, Finding Moose, Jennifer drew inspiration from her maternal great-uncle, of whom she has warm memories. Similar to the boy in these stories, the picture books have been a walk of discovery for Jennifer as she learns more about her cultural heritage as a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.
- Short-listed, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
- Commended, Toronto Public Library First & Best List
Praise for Raven, Rabbit, Deer
2020 Toronto Public Library First & Best List
2021 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
2021 Teachers on Call "Books to Commemorate Orange Shirt Day"
★ STARRED REVIEW “Acrylic and colored pencil artwork by debut illustrator Faria (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) startles with rich, startling winter sunset hues...Holler’s story gains from the interplay of dimensions: the affectionate relationship between the boy and his grandfather, the growing vocabulary they share, and their slow-paced appreciation of the natural world.”—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Whether or not children are close to their own elders, this beautiful picture book engages and delights….An excellent addition to any school or public library, especially those looking to freshen up their picture book collections on the subject of winter.”—School Library Journal
“This sweetly unassuming picture book is simultaneously a small wintertime adventure, a story of a loving intergenerational friendship, and an animal-identification book incorporating both English and Ojibwemowin vocabulary….Acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations vividly portray the snowy landscape as well as the boy and grandfather’s home…Endpapers helpfully label the three animals with their English and Ojibwemowin names; the Ojibwemowin names are also spelled phonetically.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“Faria (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) brings an #ownvoices perspective to Holler’s text, illustrating the gentle scenes in acrylics and colored pencil. Understated humor emerges in the details…This intergenerational tale gently introduces woodland animal tracks and Ojibwemowin words.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining picture book introduction to the subject of animal tracks…[Raven, Rabbit, Deer] is an extraordinary and forthrightly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.”—Midwest Book Review
“Rating: 5…This book is perfect for children between the ages of three and six years old. I could see this book being read just before a winter walk in the snow–a great way to encourage children to carefully look for tracks in the snow of any animals that might have passed through.”—Youth Services Book Review
“A sweet, intergenerational story…Raven, Rabbit, Deer serves as a window for Indigenous children to see themselves and their families in the story. It also serves as a window for everyone in the classroom to learn about Indigenous ways of knowing and being. There is a thoughtful glossary with pictures as well to teach readers the proper pronunciations of raven, rabbit, and deer in Ojibwemowin. If you are considering setting up a multicultural and multilingual classroom library, I highly recommend adding this piece to your collection.”—Canadian Review of Materials
“An extraordinary nature picture book for young children…This delightful book is ideal to share with a child anytime, but particularly during winter.”—Postmedia
“Though Raven, Rabbit, Deer is culturally informative with its inclusion of Ojibwemowin, author Sue Farrell Holler has not created it as a picture book of vocabulary as much as a story of a touching inter-generational relationship….Jennifer Faria has given Raven, Rabbit, Deer a boldness of colour and shape but with an understated edge that complements Sue Farrell Holler’s story and intensifies it….Sue Farrell Holler and Jennifer Faria have let us enjoy an outing with a grandfather and his grandson and feel the warmth of that harmonious connection between people and with place.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“This picture book is a beauty….The drawings were great, with expressive faces and simple and colourful images of the world. A great book for the coming season.”—Canadian Bookworm
“Raven, Rabbit, Deer by Sue Farrell Holler is a brand new release…grandfather teaches the boy which animals make which tracks as well as the Ojibwemowin names of the animals.”—The International Educator