Guest Blogger

We are Water Protectors

We are Water Protectors is a new picture book by Carole Lindstrom, with illustrations from Michaela Goade. This book was the discussed during a session at Friday’s ALSC Virtual Institute. When I was a child, there were not many books that touched upon the importance of nurturing the environment. As the daughter of two environmentalists, this was disappointing.

Right away, I was intrigued by the book’s inspiration. Lindstrom included some great visuals in her talk, including maps and photos from North Dakota and the Dakota Access Pipeline. She also shared how she attended some peaceful protest events with her son, describing the winter 2016 events as “emotional”, and stating that “it really affected me in so many ways”. This lead her to meet many new people and form everlasting friendships. This idea promotes another positive aspect of storytelling. Stories have the power to cause people to form new friendships, especially when people can find solidarity with passionate topics.

The book originally started off as a young adult novel, as Lindstrom had so much information to share. She changed to a picture book, with her and Goade describing that “young people get it”. They feel a need and understanding to protect the earth. Even if this was not recognized when I was a child, this is very empowering for today’s young readers. Reading books that stress this importance can help give young readers their own ideas. Photos of young water protectors were even shared so we could see the young people who helped make this book a reality.

I appreciated Lindstrom’s reading of the book, with its lyrical prose, and menacing black snake metaphors. The book provides a message of hope and resilience that can easily be translated to so many other worldly issues today. The illustrations are simply gorgeous with a soft palette of earth and water themed colors. Goade explained that she was inspired with her inspirations from actual Standing Rock art.

I am excited to hear what else Lindstrom and Goade have to share about this book. This book and its ending pledge are welcome additions for blossoming young activists.

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