Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day! Celebrating the Canadian Environment: The Salmon Forest

Whenever we leave the prairies and take a trip to the west coast I am reminded of a great book by Canadians David Suzuki and Sarah Ellis called The Salmon Forest (Greystone Books, 2003). We recently made such a trip and it was my oldest daughter who mentioned this book as we were driving through the forests on our way to the Pacific coast.

The Salmon Forest has all the elements of a typical picture book but the story revolves around the life cycle of the sockeye salmon. So while this book is a wonderful teaching tool it retains the appeal of a story book. Both my 4 and 3 year olds have sat and listened to this book on many occasions and it is one of their favourites.

The reader is introduced to Kate and her dad. They are out walking in the woods while Kate's dad explains each step in the life cycle of the salmon as they encounter different elements in nature. Then they happen upon some old friends fishing. The friends invite Kate and her dad to help prepare and enjoy a salmon meal with them. The interconnectedness of nature is explained in such detail that children's questions are answered yet the book doesn't become dull.

Sheena Lott's detailed watercolour illustrations are realistic and provide a lot of visual interest to the book.