Written By: Carole Lindstrom
Illustrated by: Michaela Goade
For Ages: 4-8 years
Language: English & Ojibwe
Topics Covered: Activism, Indigenous Voices, Oil Pipelines, Own Voices, Ojibwe.
If you’re looking for a book that will give you literal chills at its beauty, this is the one to crack open. We Are Water protectors is an Own Voices Indigenous picture book about a black snake that threatens the water, making it poisonous and undrinkable. Beautiful and powerful, this metaphor for an oil pipeline engages and teaches readers about the activism that is needed to defeat the snake.
The story follows a young girl as she becomes a water protector to stop the black snake that is harming her community’s water. Our main character recognizes mni wiconi-water is life-and her duty to protect those that cannot fight back. The story itself is inspired by the multitude of Indigenous-led movements across North America, and strikes the perfect balance of inspirational and educational. The illustrations are stunning, and in the back is more information about water protectors from the author, a glossary, and a note from the illustrator. Every page is breathtaking, and the message is a crucial one. We not only need more Own Voices BIPOC texts, but we need books like this that get across the serious environmental detriment that pipelines cause. We Are Water Protectors was published in March, and I have been wanting to review it since first seeing the cover, it just took a bit to get my hands on a copy. Truly beautiful, you need to read this book!
The featured image on this post was retrieved from this article!
Carole is Anishinabe/Metis and is tribally enrolled with the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. She was born and raised in Nebraska and currently makes her home in Maryland.
Carole has been a voracious reader and library geek ever since she was growing up in Nebraska. On weekends you could usually find her at the library lost in the book stacks or holed up in her bedroom with a good book. It wasn’t until she had her son, that she discovered her love of writing for children and began to work seriously on her writing.
From her About Me section of her website:
“I am an illustrator for picture books such as “Encounter,” “We Are Water Protectors” and “Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy,” winner of the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Picture Book. I also illustrate covers for chapter books, create personal art for purchase, and take on the occasional design project.
In recent years, my work has focused on Indigenous KidLit. I feel very honored to work with Indigenous authors and tribal organizations in the creation of beautiful and much-needed stories. I am an enrolled member of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. In Tlingit, my name is Sheit.een and I am of the Kiks.ádi Clan (Raven/Frog).
Following the artist path has enabled me to reconnect with my culture, and it’s become an anchor in a sea of overwhelming creative possibility. It’s been an incredibly enriching experience and I’ll keep learning and working to honor the culture and tribe.
I was raised in Juneau, Alaska, where I live today with my partner. Home is a small, cozy cabin by the sea, tucked away in the forest with a little studio down the trail. Our neighbors are a tight-knit community of wonderful people, dogs, whales, sea lions, bears, eagles and one particularly noisy murder of crows.”