In this introduction to the Anishinaabe tradition of totem animals, young children explain why they identify with different creatures such as a deer, beaver or moose. Delightful illustrations show the children wearing masks representing their chosen animal, while the few lines of text on each page work as a series of simple poems throughout the book.
In a brief author’s note, Danielle Daniel explains the importance of totem animals in Anishinaabe culture and how they can also act as animal guides for young children seeking to understand themselves and others.
The ideas inside unfurl outside the pages into readers’ own imaginative worlds.
A stunning glimpse into the traditions of the Anishinaabe culture. . . . Highly recommended.
The stylized masks, soft colours and big eyes of the children convey a seriousness, almost an otherworldliness, to the animal/human relationship. . . . Haunting and thought-provoking.
This book will fascinate children expanding their horizons and learning about other cultures (or, in the case of Anishinaabe kids, their own).
Reminds readers of the importance of critical self-reflection and of our connection to the animal world — two ideas worth championing at any age.