From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–As the cold weather sets in, Joo Tum and his family dismantle their log house, load their bobsled, and prepare to move north to their winter home in the deep woods. Squirrels, birds, and rabbits look on benevolently. When all is ready, the family nestles into a heap of sealskin coats and blankets, and they set off. While the other children sleep, baby Zoo Sap falls off the sled and is left behind. His frantic cries soon alert the animals of the forest, who gather around him in a warm, loving nest of fur and feathers. Before long, Joo Tum notices that the baby is missing, and walks all night to retrieve his son. Sockabasin weaves a powerful story of paternal love while simultaneously expressing the mutual respect between his Passamaquoddy culture and the natural world. His spare, straightforward prose calls to mind the gentle rhythm of a well-worn family bedtime story. Raye's luminous watercolor-and-ink paintings evoke the wintry majesty of rural Maine. Facial expressions are captured with warmth and subtlety as the family members experience excitement, fear, relief, and joy. In addition to being a lovely story, Thanks to the Animals
gives a fascinating glimpse into a culture not often seen in picture books. An author's note provides further information about the Passamaquoddy tribe, including the names for the animals introduced in the book.–Rachael Vilmar, Atlanta Fulton Public Library, GA
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About the Author
Allen Sockabasin is a Passamaquoddy who devotes much of his time to teaching and preserving the Passamaquoddy language. A master musician, he has written, performed, and recorded Passamaquoddy stories and songs. He has been a tribal governor, a member of the tribal council, and director of child welfare for his tribe, and a health educator. He is the father of five grown children and a young son named Zoo Sap.
Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture, derived from her affinity with the natural world around her at her studio in East Blue Hill, Maine. She has been interested in animals and art since she was a child in Eastern Tennessee, and now in addition to creating her own works of art, teaches workshops for children and adults.