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 in order to survive on their own.
The Mothers of Xsan series uses striking illustration and lyrical language to bring the poetry of the Xsan ecosystem to life.
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, and has volunteered for such organizations as Ka Ni Kanichihk and Indigenous Music Manitoba. The Sockeye Mother (winner of The Science Writers and Communicators Book Award) is Brett’s first book for children.
Natasha Donovan (she/her/hers) is a freelance artist and illustrator from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her sequential work has been published in The Other Side and This Place: 150 Years Retold anthologies. She is the illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel Surviving the City, as well as the award-winning children’s book, The Sockeye Mother (shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction), the first book in the Mothers of Xsan series. Natasha is a member of the Métis Nation of British Columbia.
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!
The Grizzly Mother is seamless merging of science and culture with the Gitxsan Nation.... This book is an important addition to classrooms and libraries or your own non-fiction collection.
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
4 out of 5 stars
Lovely book. My son loved me reading it to him. The targeted audience. It was easy to read and well written.
5 out of 5 stars
This non-fiction, own-voices picture book features amazing pictures and interesting details about a grizzly bear's raising of two young bears, and the Gitxsan people that live near the Skeena and Bulkley rivers in Northern British Columbia, Canada. I really love this book and The Sockeye Mother, an earlier book from this team. Great information, including the correct use of the phrase torpor (instead of hibernation, which is something that is incorrect and a little maddening once you know this) and definitions of more complex language right next to the text, where the reader can use it, means this series is a great package for young readers to learn about nature and Indigenous culture. I hope there are more of these books to come!
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.
5 out of 5 stars
A gorgeously illustrated book for all ages on the lives of grizzly bears in British Columbia.
From the renderings of the bears to the color palette, the artwork in this book is first rate.
I love that the author used “ten-dollar words” in the text and then added the definitions instead of oversimplifying the vocabulary in order to make the book workable for the youngest possible audience. This way, it can be enjoyed by both very young and older children.
4 out of 5 starts
What a beautifully illustrated book! This books follows a grizzly mother bear with her two cubs from hibernation to the next season's hibernation. It teaches children about different aspects of the grizzly bear's life in different seasons and their interactions with the Gitxsan community.
I love how it has definitions of words that children might not know (e.g. metabolism).
I think more information about the geographical locality and the Gitxsan would make this book so much more accessible to children more globally. Afterall, who wouldn't want to learn about grizzly bears?