Beneath Raven Moon by D. Bouchard
Bouchard, David. (2012). Beneath Raven Moon. North Vancouver, BC: More Than Words Publishers. Print and CD.
Trickster Raven is at it again in Beneath Raven Moon, a creation myth taken from the tradition of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of British Columbia. Metis author David Bouchard weaves together the enchanting tale of how keen-eyed Eagle and whimsical Raven conspire to create a love match between two young people with the story of how the Earth was given Grandmother Moon.
Each page is beautifully illustrated with West Coast First Nation’s designs in the dark golds, silvers, blues and oranges of nighttime. Bouchard sets a quiet, ethereal tone for the text through carefully-paced repetition and descriptions of night time scenes. The use of playful dialogue, traditional terms such as Grandmother Moon or Grandfather Cedar and Bouchard’s placement of Trickster as a force in many aboriginal cultures enhances the timeless feeling of the text.
Beneath Raven Moon derives its authenticity from its Metis author and K’omoks First Nations illustrator. Source notes are background information that places this myth in the tradition of the Kwakwaka’wakw people from BC’s Inside Passage. Each page contains both English and Kwakwala text, with the Kwakwala translation attributed to Pauline and Pewi Alfred. In keeping with First Nations' oral traditions, a CD of the story read aloud in English, Kwakwala and French is included with the book. The CD also features the haunting First Nations flute music of Mary Youngblood. Students aged eight to twelve will enjoy the visual and auditory experience of Beneath Raven Moon.
Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Kristie Oxley
Kristie Oxley is an elementary Montessori teacher at Richard McBride Elementary School in New Westminster, BC.