For Nonfiction Monday I have a picture book that has been included on a number of best of 2020 lists, We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade.
Why has it landed on “best of” lists?
Living things need clean water to survive. That is a fundamental fact. We Are Water Protectors is a call to action to protect the Earth’s precious water resources while we still can.
Distinct, Individual Voice
Author Carole Lindstrom is tribally enrolled with the Turtle Mountain Band of the Ojibwe. She uses her unique, passionate voice to explain the issue and share historical perspective about the Indigenous-led protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Michaela Goade’s watercolor illustrations are exquisite. What better medium than watercolor for a book fundamentally about water? In addition, she captures the emotions of each scene with her palette and includes culturally-relevant symbols. Words can not describe how beautiful her illustrations are.
Because this book is written like a story, including having a refrain, there may be some confusion about what genre it falls in and whether it qualifies for Nonfiction Monday. After all, Google Books calls it fiction. Responsive Reads calls it historical fiction. Looking at the amount of information in the text, one could easily argue the genre might be closer to creative nonfiction or informational fiction. In fact, in an interview at Two Writing Teachers blog, Carole Lindstrom considers her work to be lyrical nonfiction. If you have read it, what do you think?
We Are Water Protectors offers a lot to consider. It is likely to challenge young readers and to stimulate discussion. Educators should download the activity guide and read the back matter to be prepared.
The best books stay with you long after you have read them, which is likely why this one is landing on so many lists.
PDF Activity guide to download from Roaring Brook Press
See our growing list of children’s books about water and the water cycle at Science Books for Kids.
In this video you can see Carole Lindstrom read the book, then give a detailed explanation of the events that inspired it, plus what came after.
Reading age : 3 – 6 years
Publisher : Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (March 17, 2020)
ISBN-10 : 1250203554
ISBN-13 : 978-1250203557
Disclosure: The book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.