Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: The Thundermaker Kaqtukowa'tekete'w
Publish June 30, 2018
It’s easy to become distracted from one’s life work. This is Little Thunder’s problem in The Thundermaker. Giju is telling Little Thunder about the great circle of life: ‘Lightning can start a fire and scorch the earth, but it also makes room for new life. This is called renewal’. Big Thunder is teaching Little Thunder about his gift. Little Thunder learns how to meld people and healers out of clay; he learns that his gift can also cause great destruction because of its power. And Little Thunder develops the ability to focus his gift so that he might help his people.
Mi’kmawe artist Alan Syliboy, student of Shirley Bear, and translator Lindsay R. Marshall have created a beautiful bilingual father-son story using the traditional petroglyph form for the illustrations. In it, families read about Little Thunder’s education growing up, and how help is never far away if you only ask for it, “Kisu’lk apoqnmui, Ke’ apoqinmui Kisu’lk.” (‘Creator, help me. Please help me Creator.’)
Seumas Hetherington is a bilingual reviewer of children’s ‘books for boys’, graphic novels, comics, and mixed media stories. He is a snowboarder in South-western Ontario and a self-proclaimed ‘science geek’. Hetherington is a male writing voice who joins us from le Conseil Scolaire Providence.
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