________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 12 . . . . February 2, 2007

cover Zoe and the Fawn.

Catherine Jameson. Illustrated by Julie Flett.
Penticton, BC: Theytus Books, 2006.
32 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-894778-43-X.

Subject Headings:
Okanagan Indians-Juvenile fiction.
Animals-Juvenile fiction.
Nature-Juvenile fiction.
Parent and child-Juvenile fiction.
Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 2-6.
Review by Gregory Bryan.
**** /4 


Outside the yard Zoe and her dad see something moving under a tree.
“What can that be?” Zoe asks.
“Let us go look,” says Dad.

When Zoe and her father venture outside to feed the horses, they discover a fawn curled up under an aspen tree. Zoe and her dad proceed to see if they are able to locate the fawn’s mother. In the process, their search brings them across a woodpecker, a trout and a rabbit. “That is not the fawn’s mother,” Zoe says, continuing her search.

     Catherine Jameson’s text is simple, yet charming. Zoe’s inquisitive nature is endearing, as is her father’s gentle patience. One of the many very interesting aspects of this book is that, as Zoe encounters the various animal life, the Okanagan (Syilx) name is also presented in the text. For those unfamiliar with the language, the flow of the narrative need not be interrupted to try to pronounce the Okanagan words, but the presence of those words adds to the interest and educational value of the story.   
internal art

     Julie Flett’s artwork is simply stunning. The portrayal of young Zoe is reminiscent of Peter in Ezra Jack Keats’ Caldecott medal winning classic, The Snowy Day. In creating her artwork, Flett selected textured and coloured paper that she then scanned and used as the basis for the computer-generated images. Theytus Books informs me that she used Creative Suite Adobe Illustrator to design the illustrations. As such, there was a complexity to the creative process that is absent from the intriguingly simple, yet spectacular, appearance of the artwork.

     This is a lovely little book. It is one of my new favourite picture books. I recommend that every Canadian home housing a young child rush out and purchase this one now. Zoe and the Fawn represents another opportunity to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of which Canadians are so proud.

     Theytus Books are to be congratulated on a delightful publication.

Highly Recommended. 

Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. He teaches children’s literature and literacy education courses.  

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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