cover image We Are Water Protectors

We Are Water Protectors

Carole Lindstrom, illus. by Michaela Goade. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-20355-7

Metis/Ojibwe author Lindstrom (Girls Dance, Boys Fiddle) honors those who fight to protect the Earth’s fresh water. The words are spoken by a child who’s shown first with her grandmother: “Water is the first medicine.... Water is sacred,” the white-haired woman tells her. Bold strokes of light, limpid color wash across layered spreads by Tlingit and Haida artist Goade (Encounter). The girl tells of the arrival of an oil pipeline, the “black snake” that will “spoil the water./ Poison plants and animals./ Wreck everything in its path.” The half-bleached figures of a bird and a fish lie next to the pipeline leaking black sludge. “The plants, trees, rivers, lakes...”—Goade pulls back to view the Earth from space studded with stars—“We are all related.” Observation is not enough, the book communicates: action is necessary. And the girl doesn’t just participate in protest; she stands at the front, carrying a feather in one hand, as other protestors answer her call. “We are water protectors. WE STAND!” An author’s note traces the story’s genesis to the 2016 Standing Rock protests in the Dakotas. A passionate call for environmental stewardship. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Kathleen Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. [em](Mar.) [/em]