THE SPIRIT TRACKERS by Jan Bourdeau Waboose
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 4 - 8
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After Uncle, an Anishinaabe tracker, explains to his young nephews Tom and Will the significance of the moose to their family clan and about the Windigo, the wandering night spirit of winter, the boys are determined to become trackers like him.

Uncle opens by telling how Makwasaagim, snowshoes, help trackers to walk when there is deep snow and also why their Moose Clan respects the moose for giving them many ways to survive the harsh winters. Next, he warns them about the dangers of the Windigo so they can respect the dangers of the season. That night the sleeping boys waken to loud noises and hurry to the window but soon are frightened back to bed by a black shadow in the window. The next morning they go out and strap on their Makwasaagim to investigate, finding many signs that might prove the Windigo had been there. However, when they hear haunting animal cries, the boys prove they are true trackers. Anishinaabe Waboose’s prose seamlessly threads her people’s legends with her story of a modern First Nations family that is keeping its traditions alive. Award-winning illustrator Thisdale’s expressive and detailed illustrations add depth to Waboose’s engaging text. His mixed-media paintings successfully blend the traditional and the modern, the comfortably familiar and the uncanny, to support the story’s themes.

An intergenerational tale that celebrates both a specific tradition and the universal curiosity of children. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-92708-311-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Fifth House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2018


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