Ripples & Waves: Walking Lake Huron
by Carol Trembath
Lakeside Publishing MI
Book review by Toby Berry
"Trees are the lungs of the earth."
This incredible story focuses on Mai, a fictitious Ojibway girl walking around Lake Huron with her family and Native Americans from various tribes. Mai and her new friend make dreamcatchers to share with others they meet along the way. Though fiction, the story is based on The Mother Earth Water Walkers, a real-life group of native women who circumnavigated the Great Lakes on foot starting in 2003. They did so to raise awareness about the condition of water in our country and the need to be good stewards. They also set out on their journeys to reunite tribes, which scattered after the white man came to North America.
This children's book is breathtaking. It is contemporary and historical at the same time, addressing the issues of native populations, clean water, the environment, history, art, climate change, friendship, activism, and education—all in 52 illustrated pages. All of the illustrations are colorful and professionally done, but those of the young Native American girls are standout drawings. The girls look full of hope and innocence, inspiring young readers to be like them in pursuit of friendship with other young people and Mother Earth.
The book is written at a third-grade reading level, but advanced second graders should be able to read it, as well, and it is also a perfect read-aloud book for first graders. This is a stellar book for contextual learning, including a map of Lake Huron, a reference section with resources regarding art (how to make dreamcatchers), environmentalism, diversity, and more. "It is about making connections and coming together . . . The earth is our home. Her creeks, streams and rivers flow into our lakes and oceans. Water connects us."
RECOMMENDED by the US Review