Cover Image

Book of Play! With Northwest Coast Native Art

LaFortune, Doug et al. (2012). Book of Play! With Northwest Coast Native Art. Vancouver: Native Northwest. Print board book.

This attractive children’s board book from publisher Native Northwest features the work of nine Northwest Coast Native artists. Bright colours appear throughout and a matte finish compels the reader’s eye to look, and look again. While a traditional Northwest Coastal art colour palette would include two to four colours, this board book incorporates more than fourteen colours for its attractive design.

Natural animal forms such as ravens, turtles, fish, and more are illustrated using form lines and the characteristic U forms, S forms, and ovoids that distinguish Northwest Coastal art. The fantastic art is reason enough to purchase this book, but the fun activities are engaging as well.

Each page turn is interesting as every page uses a different layout for text and images, and many of the pages ask the reader to interact in some way with the book. Readers are encouraged to count numbered toes on a foot, point to various coloured hummingbirds, find facial features on a totem, categorize animals based on how they travel, match stylized fish, and navigate a simple graphic maze.

Due to the very simplistic text, Book of Play! is most appropriate for toddlers, pre-K, and early primary students. It stands out as a board book for having high-interest pictures, introducing young learners to Northwest Coastal art, and emphasizing the natural world.

Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Lisa Vanness

Lisa Vanness is an elementary Fine Arts teacher in British Columbia and a Teacher-Librarian in training. She can tap dance, play the piano, and eat pickles - all at the same time.