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The Canoe Maker
by Jean Flahive & Donald Soctomah
illustrated by Mari Dieumegard
Young Tobias is on a quest with his father, David Moses Bridges, the tribe’s master canoe maker. Together they go deep into the Maine woods to find the perfect birch and to gather spruce roots, cedar, and spruce gum to build a canoe in the “old ways.” In this magical tale, David weaves Native American storytelling into the ancient art and spirituality of canoe making, including the heart-rending mythological legend of the partridge, the first canoe maker.
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The Canoe Maker warms the heart and immerses us in nature. You can hear David Moses’s voice in the words, and you can feel the love of a father and son. This book is a wonderful testament to a Passamaquoddy culture keeper and a beautiful record of canoe making and its importance. Gather your little loved ones to hear a story of love, adventure, and the importance of memory.
—Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President/CEO, Abbe Museum
This is a beautiful story that captures the essence of a wonderful man. David Moses was a dear friend, and I miss him greatly. He had a deep feeling for the cultural roots of the ancestral Wabanaki arts. David had a gift for sharing that feeling, and, in this way, he touched the lives of many.
—Steve Cayard, birchbark canoe builder
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jean Flahive has written three children’s books. She is the author of The Old Mainer and the Sea and the coauthor of both Remember Me: Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt, which won a 2009 Moonbeam Gold Award, and The Galloping Horses of Willowbrook, which was a finalist in the 2012 Maine Literary Awards. She is also the author of two young adult historical novels, Billy Boy: The Sunday Soldier of the 17th Maine and Railroad to the Moon: Elijah’s Story. Jean and her husband live on the coast of Maine.
Donald Soctomah is the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and has been on a quest to follow his great-grandfather’s footsteps by storytelling and carrying on the traditions of the tribe. He has authored several tribal history books covering the years 1800 to 1950 and two children’s books, Remember Me, with Jean Flahive, and Tihtiyas and Jean, with Natalie Gagnon, which won the iParenting Media Award in Canada. In 2015 Donald was presented with the Lifetime Cultural Achievement Award in Washington, DC, and the Constance Carlson Public Humanities Award in Maine.