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Rabbit and Bear Paws – The Voyageurs

What is bravery? That is a good (and tough) question. Chad Solomon’s latest creation – The Voyageurs – does an excellent job of illustrating the concept in an accessible and entertaining way.

Rabbit and Bear Paws learn about bravery, or aakdehewin in the Ojibway language, as they embark on an adventure with a small group of voyageurs. They learn that bravery can take many shapes, be a private or public affair, and be ignited in oneself to test one’s strengths and limits, and/or out of love for another being. They experience and exhibit bravery throughout the adventure – while confronting a group of bandits, engaging in a playful (yet important) game of lacrosse, and taking a ride in a flying canoe. 

Though the subject of bravery could be presented in a very serious way, Chad Solomon and Christopher Meyer choose to present it with humour and magic, amidst a backdrop that illustrates and presents various Anishinabe and Mohawk traditions, words, important figures (Joseph Brant), and historical situations (trading).

With little time to read for fun right now (as I have an active 8-month old at home), Rabbit and Bear Paws The Voyageurs provided me with a much needed and entertaining break. Its humour made me chuckle and its illustrations were lively and complimented the text. It would be a good addition to any public and school library, or for your own private collection.

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