The Science of the Sockeye Salmon
The Sockeye Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett David Huson) and Natasha Donovan is a beautiful non-fiction story about the importance of the sockeye salmon to the Gitxsan people. Providing the reader with a detailed look at the sockeye salmon lifecycle, this book serves as an important reminder to us all about the interconnectedness of all species. If one species isn’t allowed to fulfill their destiny, so to speak, we all can suffer as a result. The Sockeye Mother is the perfect book to add to your science reading.
Huson’s love of science is reflected through his caring take on the sockeye’s journey, providing the reader with scientific terminology (with definitions) throughout. Putting the terminology in the story where the word is encountered is so key for young readers. No one wants to have to turn to the back of the book every time to find the definition of a word. Also, including many of the Gitxsan words, as well as the link to a pronunciation guide at the back, is the perfect touch, I have included it below for quick access. The reader can sense the importance of the sockeye to the Gitxsan people throughout the book, while also learning about the environment, lifecycles, and stewardship. Information about the Gitxsan themselves can be found on the information page at the back of the book. I absolutely love the beautiful art by Natasha Donovan, taking us through the life of the Miso’o, sockeye, while providing a glimpse of the life that goes on around the Xsan, Skeena River, and including some recognizable traditional Gitxsan imagery hidden throughout. The Sockeye Mother is a book that should make its way into all school libraries and science classes.