English & Gitxsan
Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) & Natasha Donovan
I can’t say enough about this series, it’s so beautiful! If you’ve been around awhile you may have seen my reviews for The Grizzly Mother and The Eagle Mother, and having my words on a book cover about this series is a highlight of my professional life. The Frog Mother is the first of two more books in this series releasing in 2021, and is out now!
The blending of scientific and Indigenous knowledge in these books is truly breathtaking, and the story weaves together Gitxsan language, art, and the lifecycle of frogs. Not only is this a fantastic book about nature, but it emphasizes a crucial point that the knowledge colonizers learn about nature is most often from Indigenous populations. The reader follows the frog mother and her tadpoles for an entire year, from laying eggs to the tadpoles growing up toto be parents themselves. All the while there is information about Gitxsan children giving them berries and appreciating what the frogs add to the environment around them.
I share this book today not only because it’s a stunning example of the relationship we should be cultivating with nature on a daily basis, but also as a reminder that as we learn about more stolen souls found on former residential “school” properties, let’s not forget to celebrate the resilience and cultural knowledge from Indigenous people.
This book was kindly sent by Highwater Press, but all opinions are my own.
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 Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her sequential work has been published in This Place: 150 Years Retold, the Wonderful Women of History, and the forthcoming Thomas King graphic novel Borders. She is the illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series Surviving the City, as well as the award-winning Mothers of Xsan children’s book series, and Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer. She lives by the Nooksack River in Washington State.