Robertson, David A. On the Trapline. Julie Flett, Illus. Non-fiction. Tundra, 05/2021. 48pp. $18.99. 978-0-7352-6668-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES K-3.
Robertson’s homage to his father, a member of the Swampy Cree, starts on the title page with an image of a lone white plane, almost the same color as the washed out sky, flying overhead. The main character, a young indigenous boy, visits his ancestral trapline (hunting grounds) for the first time and learns the history of his family by asking questions of his grandfather. The beautiful muted gray-green images and the spare but acerbic text merge to tell a story of family lore and love of the land, while reminding readers of the atrocities endured by indigenous communities, committed by white settlers. This is the second book author David Robertson (Norway House Cree Nation) and illustrator Julie Flett (Cree-Métis) have created together that center on indigenous experiences, the first being When We Were Alone (HighWater Press, 2016). Great for a class readaloud, or some quiet time at home, this book conveys a tender, loving portrait of Native American life.
Meghan Monahan, San Francisco Public Library