On the Trapline, written by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett

On the Trapline
written by David A. Robertson
illustrated by Julie Flett
Tundra Books, 2021
978-0735266681 (hc) $21.99
for Preschool to Grade 1

Picture Book | Culture | Family | Nature | Cree | Indigenous

Moshom (Grandfather) and his grandson fly up north to visit the trapline, which is Moshom’s home (we learn that Kīwēw means “he goes home” in Cree). Throughout the trip, they visit where Moshom once hunted, fished and lived off the land.

There are many lessons to be learned in this gentle story about intergenerational respect and relationships, both with people and the land. Robertson integrates the Cree language seamlessly into the story, incorporating and teaching keywords and values on almost every page. Cree worldview is also well integrated, as the reader learns the importance of sharing, kindness, and respect for Elders. Lessons also abound about family, the land, culture, food, chores, and lifestyle.

Flett’s beautiful illustrations in earthy tones help convey the beauty of the landscape and the connection the people have to the land and each other. The book includes notes from the author and the illustrator, a glossary of the Swampy Cree words used throughout, and a pronunciation guide.

Reading this quiet and beautiful picture book is a perfect way for caregivers and children to bond over storytime. Recommended for home, school and public libraries.

Colette Poitras is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and is the Manager of the Indigenous Public Outreach for Public Library Services Branch, Alberta.

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On the Trapline