We Are Water Protectors

  • Title: We Are Water Protectors
  • Author: Carole Lindstrom
  • Illustrator: Michaela Goade
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Brief Summary: From MacMillian Publishers: “Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – There is a place for this book in a classroom or school library in many ways, just one of them on the subject of environmentalism. This would be an excellent book to bring about a discussion of environmental efforts. Or this book could be used after or during a lecture or teaching about things that can be done to help the environment. Additionally, I wondered about how Native American culture is being taught in school today and whether this book could help in showing a particular Native culture/people. See this very interesting article from the Smithsonian on the changes in how Native American history and culture is starting to be rendered by teachers and administrators alike.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. –The absolutely gorgeous work of Michaela Goade is not to be missed. When I read the author and illustrator notes at the back of the book, I was interested to read that Goade honored Carole Lindstrom’s Ojibwe heritage by making several details in the illustrations, such as the protagonist of the story “changes into her traditional ribbon skirt as she rallies her people.” Also, the animals in the book “reflect Anishinaabe/Ojibwe clan symbols or hold special significance in traditional teachings…” As the book begins, the reader sees a lot of serene blues and greens punctuated by rich purples, corals and pinks that symbolize the water protectors and their relationships to the water and what survives because of the water. One of my favorite illustrations is the on third page, and it shows a pregnant woman, and the child inside of her, being nourished by and from water. In contrast to these illustrations, is the oil pipeline represented as a “black snake,” and the imagery is vastly different. A two page spread of fiery red with a molted black snake in which has pointed edges and bands of gray representing a pipeline’s sections. On the page flip, our protagonist, armed with a feather, strides passionately, proclaiming “I must rally my people together.” Her hair flows behind her like a river in a beautiful array of water lilies, lily pads, and fish.

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