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The Salmon Twins by C. Simpson

Simpson, Caroll. The Salmon Twins. Heritage House Publishing Co. Ltd., 2012. E-book and print.

The Salmon Twins tells of the birth of twins in one Pacific Northwestern clan.  Since the birth of twins is a rare and celebrated occurrence the children were bestowed the crest of the Salmon.  This tale follows the twins as they grow and become selfish and greedy.  Thunderbird sees this and, angered at the twins selfishness, changes the twins into a mythical sea serpent.  The twins must then follow their own quest to learn to work together to find their way back home.  Their quest becomes urgent when the salmon do not follow the villagers’ fishing run and it is up to the twins to lead the salmon home to feed their family and friends.

The Salmon Twins, written and illustrated by British Columbian author Caroll Simpson, is an original tale steeped in Pacific First Nations tradition and inspired by well-known First Nations mythology and art sources such as Hilary Stewart, Bill Reid, Franz Boas, Cheryl  Shearar, and Pat Kramer.  Simpson’s own knowledge of Northwest Coast flora and fauna, culture, and mythology, is woven throughout this tale and provides many opportunities to extend student learning beyond the pages of this tale.  Simpson’s illustrations are rich in depth and colour and show a definite respect for and understanding of First Nations culture, art, and people.  Although this book title is in available in e-book and hardcover format, I would recommend purchasing the hardcover edition as the e-book edition has minor glitches with merging the text with the illustrations resulting in blank pages with single lines of text that take away from the beauty of the text/illustration interaction.

Recommended with Reservations: 2 out of 4 stars (ebook)
Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars (hardcover)
Reviewer:  April Hilland

April Hilland is a teacher-librarian currently on educational leave from her role as District Teacher Librarian in Maple Ridge, BC to finish her MEd in teacher-librarianship at the University of Alberta.  Currently hailing from the small northern town of Fort St. James, BC, April is bringing her passion for literature to her new community and thoroughly enjoying the experiences of the Great White North!