On the Trapline

David A. Robertson, illus. by Julie Flett. Tundra, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6668-1
The Indigenous creators behind Governor General’s Award–winning When We Were Alone return for this grandparent-child exploration of traplines, “where people hunt animals and live off the land.” Robertson, who has Swampy Cree heritage, follows Moshom, a Swampy Cree Elder, who guides his grandchild through the trapline—as well as through memories of his time there as a child. In a deceptively simple, conversational tone, the child relays observations alongside their grandfather’s poignant recollections, offering a Swampy Cree word at the bottom of almost every page: “I ask Moshom what it was like going to school after living on the trapline.... ‘I learned in both places,’ he says. ‘I just learned different things.’/ Pahkan means ‘different.’ ” Flett (who is Cree-Métis) employs a naturalistic color palette for the simple, generously spaced geometric illustrations of light brown-skinned figures, rendered in pastel on paper, then composited digitally. A deeply affecting journey of memory and history. Ages 4–8. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/22/2021
Release date: 05/04/2021
Genre: Children's
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