The Whale Child

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    The Whale Child

    Author: Chenoa Egawa, Keith Egawa Supplement by: Jessica Hernandez

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    An inspiring children’s book that introduces young readers to the environmental challenges facing the planet through the eyes of Coast Salish characters and authors

    “You have family on land as you do in the sea. . . being a caretaker of the earth begins with taking care of the water that all life depends on.”

    Shiny is a whale child. One day his mother teaches him about the harm facing the world’s oceans because of human carelessness. Shiny agrees to be turned into a boy by the ocean’s water spirit so he can visit the land and alert people to these dangers. He meets Alex, a young girl who learns from Shiny that the living spirit of water exists in everything–glaciers, rivers, oceans, rain, plants and all living creatures. Together the two travel the earth, confronting the realities of a planet threatened by an uncertain future. Inspired by Shiny’s hope, humor, and ancestral wisdom, Alex makes the promise to become a teacher for future generations. She realizes that the timeless Native American value of environmental stewardship is needed now more than ever, and that we must all stand up on behalf of Mother Earth.

    The Whale Child introduces children ages 7 to 12 to existing environmental issues with a message of hope, education, sharing, and action. Also included are resources for students and teachers to facilitate learning about Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures and the environment.


    Product Info

    Trim Size:
    7 x 6-1/2
    Page Count:
    Release Date:

    About the Author

    KEITH AND CHENOA EGAWA are siblings who co-wrote and illustrated The Whale Child (2020) and Tani's Search for the Heart (2013). They are both enrolled members of the Lummi Indian Nation.

    KEITH EGAWA is a graduate of the University of Washington's Creative Writing program and author of the novel Madchild Running (Red Crane Books Inc. 1999). Egawa's extensive work experience in the fields of Children and Family Services and Indian Education Reform has provided him with both inspiration and insight into his subject matter. Egawa has been awarded several artists grants, including the ARTs Up grant through the Seattle Arts Commission, which was used to conduct a series of writing workshops for Native youth in the Seattle area.

    CHENOA EGAWA is the owner of Swan Clan Productions. Egawa is a traditional Native singer, storyteller, ceremonial leader, and medicine carrier. She has served as a Lummi delegate and an interpreter in Central and South America and for the UN. She has also served as Indian Education liaison in public and tribal schools, promoting racial equity through art and education.

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