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Children's LiteratureThe salmon have returned and the tribe celebrates, but for young Charlie the day is filled with the bittersweet memories of his Uncle Joe. Joe taught Charlie how to skip stones and how to swim like a salmon. Joe carved the cedar canoe that glides into the bay where the salmon have begun to run. Joe sat Charlie on his lap and told him stories about the largest, most beautiful salmon of all. The touching story of a young boy's grief and his acceptance of loss is set against the background of the celebration of the First Salmon. This annual event is celebrated by Native Americans in the Puget Sound area who welcome the first salmon of the run that, if he is treated with respect, will return to his village under the sea and lead his relatives back to the rivers and streams. Every page is illustrated with delicate watercolors that beautifully capture the time and place of the First Salmon. 2005, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 7 to 10.
—Anita Barnes Lowen