While checking on their new foal, Zoe and her father discover a fawn curled up in a thicket without its mother.
As the two set out to find the doe, Zoe spies many woodland animals and asks her father if each one—a flicker, a rabbit, a rainbow trout—is the fawn’s mother. Dad patiently tells Zoe that none are, and they keep walking. From time to time Dad takes a picture of some of the animals seen with his camera. As they go along, readers learn many new syilx (Okanagan) animal words, each printed in a rust-red type that matches Zoe’s boots and followed by the English word in parentheses. After circling back to check on their new foal and its mother, Zoe and Dad are greeted with a pleasant surprise. Jameson (Secwepémc-syilx) has crafted a quiet tale of father-daughter togetherness using simple vocabulary, a good use of repetition, and a gentle storytelling tone. Flett’s (Cree-Métis) earth-toned illustrations neatly complement the author’s style of writing, her mixed media rendering young Zoe and her father with black hair and brown skin and the animals they see with naturalistic verve; stylized greenery establishes the natural setting. It will be clear to readers unfamiliar with syilx that the language is a complex one; they will, perhaps, be spurred to find audio pronunciations on the internet after sharing the book with a loved one.
A lovely father-daughter idyll. (Picture book. 3-6)