Praise for Raven, Rabbit, Deer
2020 Toronto Public Library First & Best List
2021 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection
2021 Teachers on Call "Books to Commemorate Orange Shirt Day"
★ STARRED REVIEW “Acrylic and colored pencil artwork by debut illustrator Faria (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) startles with rich, startling winter sunset hues...Holler’s story gains from the interplay of dimensions: the affectionate relationship between the boy and his grandfather, the growing vocabulary they share, and their slow-paced appreciation of the natural world.”—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Whether or not children are close to their own elders, this beautiful picture book engages and delights….An excellent addition to any school or public library, especially those looking to freshen up their picture book collections on the subject of winter.”—School Library Journal
“This sweetly unassuming picture book is simultaneously a small wintertime adventure, a story of a loving intergenerational friendship, and an animal-identification book incorporating both English and Ojibwemowin vocabulary….Acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations vividly portray the snowy landscape as well as the boy and grandfather’s home…Endpapers helpfully label the three animals with their English and Ojibwemowin names; the Ojibwemowin names are also spelled phonetically.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“Faria (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) brings an #ownvoices perspective to Holler’s text, illustrating the gentle scenes in acrylics and colored pencil. Understated humor emerges in the details…This intergenerational tale gently introduces woodland animal tracks and Ojibwemowin words.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining picture book introduction to the subject of animal tracks…[Raven, Rabbit, Deer] is an extraordinary and forthrightly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections.”—Midwest Book Review
“Rating: 5…This book is perfect for children between the ages of three and six years old. I could see this book being read just before a winter walk in the snow–a great way to encourage children to carefully look for tracks in the snow of any animals that might have passed through.”—Youth Services Book Review
“A sweet, intergenerational story…Raven, Rabbit, Deer serves as a window for Indigenous children to see themselves and their families in the story. It also serves as a window for everyone in the classroom to learn about Indigenous ways of knowing and being. There is a thoughtful glossary with pictures as well to teach readers the proper pronunciations of raven, rabbit, and deer in Ojibwemowin. If you are considering setting up a multicultural and multilingual classroom library, I highly recommend adding this piece to your collection.”—Canadian Review of Materials
“An extraordinary nature picture book for young children…This delightful book is ideal to share with a child anytime, but particularly during winter.”—Postmedia
“Though Raven, Rabbit, Deer is culturally informative with its inclusion of Ojibwemowin, author Sue Farrell Holler has not created it as a picture book of vocabulary as much as a story of a touching inter-generational relationship….Jennifer Faria has given Raven, Rabbit, Deer a boldness of colour and shape but with an understated edge that complements Sue Farrell Holler’s story and intensifies it….Sue Farrell Holler and Jennifer Faria have let us enjoy an outing with a grandfather and his grandson and feel the warmth of that harmonious connection between people and with place.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians
“This picture book is a beauty….The drawings were great, with expressive faces and simple and colourful images of the world. A great book for the coming season.”—Canadian Bookworm
“Raven, Rabbit, Deer by Sue Farrell Holler is a brand new release…grandfather teaches the boy which animals make which tracks as well as the Ojibwemowin names of the animals.”—The International Educator
PreS-Gr 2—A young boy drops bright red boots into his grandfather's lap and suggests they take a walk outside. It is winter, so both bundle up for a trip through the snowy field behind their house. They view many animals: first a black raven, then a light-colored rabbit, and, finally, many brown deer, along with the tracks they have made in the snow. The grandfather imagines how each animal sounds. The text cleverly describes the snow prints in ways that a young child can understand. For example, the deer prints are "I love you hearts cut in two." The love between the boy and grandfather is evident in every action. Brilliant colors of the trees, animals, and characters contrast nicely with the white of the snow, and on several pages the late-day rainbow-colored sky is reflected on the ground. Whether or not children are close to their own elders, this beautiful picture book engages and delights. The grandfather points out animals in both English and Ojibwemowin; the illustrator is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. VERDICT An excellent addition to any school or public library, especially those looking to freshen up their picture book collections on the subject of winter.—Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State Univ., NH
On a snowy winter’s day, a young Ojibwe boy takes Grandpa’s hand and leads him out of the busy town and into the woods.
The boy shows Grandpa how to shake down clumps of snow from tree branches and kick snow in the creek where water bubbles through ice breaks. They trudge up a hill and make patterns with their footprints in the deep snow. Venturing deep into the forest, Grandpa points out different kinds of footprints. The boy tries to guess what made prints that look like “two hotdogs with two marshmallows in the middle.” The tracks are made by a rabbit, and Grandpa teaches his grandson the Ojibwemowin word for the animal: “Waabooz,” he says. Together they find a sparrow’s “teeny tiny tracks that look like twigs” and the larger prints of the raven, “Gaagaagi.” They count bigger animals hiding in the forest with tracks that “look like ‘I love you’ hearts cut in two”; “Deer,” says Grandpa. “Waawaashkeshi.” Faria (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) brings an #ownvoices perspective to Holler’s text, illustrating the gentle scenes in acrylics and colored pencil. Understated humor emerges in the details: The narrator holds up a mittened hand to show how many deer he sees, and Grandpa correctly agrees that there are “five”; later, Grandpa carries his tired grandson into the house “like a pile of firewood.” Phonetic pronunciations of the Ojibwemowin words appear on the endpapers.
This intergenerational tale gently introduces woodland animal tracks and Ojibwemowin words. (Picture book. 4-7)