We Are Water Protectors

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 2021

We Are Water Protectors

text by Carole Lindstrom, illustrations by Michaela Goade

Age: 5+ (for full engagement)

Interests: environmentalism, nature, water, activism, pollution, indigenous people, first nations, strong girls

A young girl learns about the importance of water from her grandmother. She learns that water is sacred: we come from water, it flows in our veins, it nourishes us and all of nature. But now a black snake – an oil pipeline – has come to her land, and threatens to spoil the water and poison the plants and animals. Encouraged by the example of her elders, the girl resolves to rally her people and fight the black snake.

This book is primarily a call to action to stand with the various indigenous nations protesting the construction of oil and gas pipelines across their land. Originally inspired by Standing Rock protests in North Dakota, this book sadly continues to be relevant. It’s an open-ended tale, as the battle continues, but the tone is hopeful.

The illustrations, by Tlingit artist Michaela Goade (the first indigenous artist to win the Caldecott Medal), are gorgeously vibrant, with vivid colours and a dreamy, watery flow across the pages.

This is a perfect book to inspire and encourage young activists, as well as anyone concerned about the environment and the struggle of First Nations to protect the land. It can be read to any age, but I think children will become most engaged with the issue around the age of five and up.

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.
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