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Amplifying BIPOC and LGBQT+ Voices

If You Want to Visit a Sea Garden
By (author): Kay Weisman Illustrated by: Roy Henry Vickers
Kay Weisman ,

Illustrated by :

Roy Henry Vickers


Groundwood Books - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Printed dust jacket
Hardcover , Printed dust jacket


Juvenile: Age (years) 5 - 8, Grade (CAN) K - 3, Grade (US) K - 3
Sep 01, 2020
$18.99 CAD


8.5in x 10.25 x 0.4 in | 0.88 lb

Page Count:

32 pages
Groundwood Books Ltd
Groundwood Books
JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Canada / Indigenous
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year 2021, Commended
  • Short Description
Discover the wonder of ancient sea gardens on the Northwest Coast.

Discover the wonder of ancient sea gardens on the Northwest Coast

Sea gardens have been created by First Peoples on the Northwest coast for more than three thousand years. These gardens consist of stone reefs that are constructed at the lowest tide line, encouraging the growth of clams and other marine life on the gently sloped beach.

This lyrical story follows a young child and an older family member who set out to visit a sea garden early one morning, as the lowest tides often occur at dawn. After anchoring their boat, they explore the beach, discover the many sea creatures that live there, hear the sputtering of clams and look closely at the reef. They reflect on the people who built the wall long ago, as well as those who have maintained it over the years. After digging for clams, they tidy up the beach, then return home.

An author’s note provides further information about sea gardens (also known as clam gardens), which yield a reliable food source and have been traditional places of learning. They have been found along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to British Columbia to Washington State, and some of these gardens are being restored today.

The manuscript has been vetted and approved by the scientists of the Clam Garden Network and Kwaxsistalla Wathl’thla Clan Chief Adam Dick. Roy Henry Vickers, whose ancestry includes the Tsimshian, Haida and Heiltsuk First Nations, has created hauntingly beautiful images to accompany the text.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

>With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

KAY WEISMAN is a librarian who has worked in elementary schools and public library youth services departments. She is a longstanding reviewer for Booklist and has contributed articles to various journals, including Book Links, NoveList and School Library Monthly. Her research for this picture book debut included traveling to several sea gardens to observe archeologists and marine ecologists at work. Kay lives in Vancouver.

ROY HENRY VICKERS is an artist, speaker, storyteller and a leader in the Indigenous community. His art is inspired by the beauty of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the ancient cultures of his ancestors. He carries the Chieftainship, Tlakwagila, from the House of Walkus in Wuikinuxv. Roy has also received the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada for his involvement in the community. He holds an honorary Doctor of Letters from York University in Toronto. His art can be found in collections around the world, including a painting gifted to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The text and illustrations combine grace and knowledge, offering a stunning nonfiction picture book that celebrates First Nations cultural traditions. - School Library Journal

This engaging tale is a natural for lessons about ecology and units on Indigenous peoples, and the illustrations will pop for story-hour audiences. - Booklist

A lyrical story for nature-loving readers, told with reverence for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. - Kirkus Reviews

This beautiful book will enhance awareness of the tradition through its impressive visual presentation. - CM Review of Materials

Kay Weisman’s lyrical writing style ignites the senses … [v]isually stunning.

- Canadian Children’s Book News

[T]his book conveys the importance of environmental stewardship and inculcating a love for the land and sea in children. - Vancouver Writers Fest

Melodic prose speaks directly to the reader, fully immersing you in the experience. … The trademark bold, colorful art of celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers evokes a sense of place and purpose.

- Hakai Magazine

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