Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 6
Book two in the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series, The Grizzly Mother uses striking illustration and lyrical language to bring the poetry of the Xsan ecosystem to life.
To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. Together, they share the land and forests that the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. Follow mother bear as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.
About the authors
Hetxw'ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Growing up in this strong matrilineal society, Brett developed a passion for the culture, land, and politics of his people, and a desire to share their knowledge and stories. Brett has worked in the film and television industry for over 13 years and is a volunteer board member for organizations such as Ka Ni Kanichihk and sākihiwē festival. Brett also works with the Prairie Climate Centre to connect western science and Indigenous Knowledges.
The award-winning Mothers of Xsan series is Brett’s first series of books and part of a larger vision to share the worlds of the Gitxsan Nation. With the support of his wife, Jeri, and their children, Warren and Ruby, Brett endeavours to continue sharing stories with his writing, artwork, and photography.
Natasha Donovan is the illustrator of the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series (written by Brett Huson). She illustrated the graphic novel Surviving the City (written by Tasha Spillett), which won a Manitoba Book Award and received an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA) honor. She also illustrated Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer which won an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and an American Indian Youth Literature Award (AIYLA). Natasha is Métis, and spent her early life in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although she moved to the United States to marry a mathematician, she prefers to keep her own calculations to the world of color and line. She lives in Washington. www.natashadonovan.com
- Short-listed, McNally Robinson Book for Young People
- Winner, Animal Behavior Society's Outstanding Children's Book Award
- Winner, Manuela Dias Design and Illustration Awards, Children's Illustration
Teachers! Get The Grizzly Mother for your classroom--and ask your librarian to get it on the library shelves, too! I highly recommend The Sockeye Mother and The Grizzly Mother published by HighWater Press. They are pitched at children in grades 5-7 but I think they can be used with younger children. And of course, picture books should be used with people of any age. Highly recommended!
American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)
? Anchored in the culture of the Gitxsan Nation, this spellbinding account of a grizzly bear’s first few years with her cubs is the second title in the Mothers of Xsan series. Saturated with ocher hues and expressively detailed with black line, Donovan’s illustrations amplify the text’s lyricism with nuanced perspectives.
Publishers Weekly, starred review
A lyrically poetic text, it delivers a wealth of information on the lives of grizzlies and the ecosystem they are part of, making this an invaluable introduction to the way we are all connected.
The Globe and Mail
This is a gorgeous book. Recommended.
School Library Journal
Selected as Middle Honor Book for the American Indian Youth Literature Award
American Indian Library Association
Selected for the 2020 Outstanding International Books List
The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY)
Selected for the Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2019 reading list, Informational Books for Older Readers
Chicago Public Library
Other titles by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson
Other titles by Natasha Donovan
The Bee Mother
Drawn to Change the World Graphic Novel Collection
16 Youth Climate Activists, 16 Artists
A River's Gifts
The Raven Mother
Global Ocean, The
The Wolf Mother
The Frog Mother
The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer
When I Was Young in Nunavut