REMEMBER ME by Donald Soctomah


Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt
Age Range: 6 - 9
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As a boy, Franklin Roosevelt spent summers at the family “cottage” on Campobello Island, nestled in the waters off Maine and New Brunswick. There he made the acquaintance of Tomah Joseph, a former chief of the Passamaquoddy tribe who made his living in later life as a guide. Vignettes imagine Tomah Joseph teaching the future president how to paddle a canoe, showing him how to gather sweetgrass for a basket, telling him stories and, when Roosevelt was a young man, giving him a birchbark canoe (which now rests on display at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park museum and inspired this book). Passamaquoddy historian Soctomah and co-author Flahive present a text-heavy series of incidents rather than an actual story, emphasizing the imagined relationship but providing little narrative oomph. The result is a pleasant interlude with little for young readers to hold onto for later. Owens’s soft watercolors depict the scenes with warmth but do not provide any real visual dynamism. Without question well-meaning and potentially useful in Native American curricula but hard to work with in isolation. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-88448-300-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tilbury House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2009


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