We’re looking at two books from HighWater Press in this week’s Small Press Spotlight. The publisher has made its mark as a top source for quality storytelling, particularly from indigenous creators. Take a look below!
HighWater Press
A Blanket of Butterflies
Writer: Richard Van Camp
Artists: Scott B. Henderson, Donovan Yaciuk, and Nickolej Villiger
Grades: 9-12
“From master storyteller, Richard Van Camp comes the Eisner-nominated adventure story of a young Tłı̨chǫ Dene boy who helps a Japanese man reclaim his grandfather’s lost samurai sword. Published for the first time in full colour, with new content from the original, shortlisted for the Eisner Award when first released in 2015. This is the first volume of a new series: The Spirit of Denendeh.
No one knows how a suit of samurai armour ended up in the Fort Smith museum. When a mysterious stranger turns up to claim it, Sonny, a young Tłı̨chǫ Dene boy, is eager to help.
Shinobu has traveled to Fort Smith, NWT, to reclaim his grandfather’s samurai sword and armour. But when he discovers that the sword was lost in a poker game, he must confront the man known as Benny the Bank. Along the way, Shinobu must rely on unlikely heroes—Sonny, his grandmother, and a visitor from the spirit world. Together, they face Benny and his men, including the giant they call Flinch.Will Shinobu be able to regain the lost sword and, with it, his family’s honour? Can Sonny and his grandmother help Shinobu while keeping the peace in their community?
Now in full colour, this new edition includes additional background information and cultural context. Learn about the real-life inspiration behind the story and the intersections between Indigenous and Japanese Canadian experiences during the Second World War.”
The Raven Mother
Writer: Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson
Artist: Natasha Donovan
Grades: 4-6
“This is the sixth title in the multi-award-winning Mothers of Xsan series that explores various animals of significance to the Gitxsan Nation (of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia). This volume focuses on ravens, why they are so important to the ecosystem and how the raven mother teaches her chicks to survive. Acclaimed writer Brett Huson specializes in connecting science and Indigenous knowledges through writing and academic work.
Hoarders. Scavengers. Clever foragers. Bringers of new life.
Ravens have many roles, both for the land and in Gitxsan story and song. The sixth book in Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson)’s Mothers of Xsan series transports young readers to Northwestern British Columbia, where they will learn about the traditions of the Gitxsan, the lives of ravens, and why these acrobatic flyers are so important to their ecosystem.
Follow along as Nox Gaak, the raven mother, teaches her chicks what they need to survive with the help of her flock.”