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My family in New Mexico is among those coping with a huge snowfall. My sister says there's two feet outside her door. They're in northern New Mexico, at Nambe Pueblo. Winter has definitely arrived there, with two huge snowfalls in a week's time. Allan Sockabasin's story sounds perfect for my nieces and nephews. Beverly Slapin's review of Thanks to the Animals is below. It may not be published elsewhere without her written permission.
Sockabasin, Allen (Passamaquoddy), Thanks to the Animals, illustrated by Rebekah Raye. Tillbury House, 2005. Unpaginated, color illustrations; all grades.
Winter arrives, as a Passamaquoddy family prepares for the trip north to the deep woods of Maine, their winter home. Everyone helps as they dismantle their house and tie down the cedar logs and everything else they need—canoe, food, clothing, baskets—on the bobsled, making sure there is enough room for the children to ride in the back. As Papa Joo Tum drives the horses and Mama and the older children settle in for the long ride, nestling together in the warmth of their sealskin coats and patchwork blankets, they don’t notice that little Zoo Sap has tumbled off the sled.
Alerted by Zoo Sap’s cries, the animals of the forest—large and small—come together to keep him warm until Papa Joo Tum comes to get him. Joo Tum thanks the animals, one by one, and carries little Zoo Sap—none the worse for wear—back to his family. This quiet, gentle story is enhanced by the warm, watercolor-and-ink paintings, my favorite of which shows little Zoo Sap contentedly and “safely sleeping in a great pile of warm animals.” Thanks to the Animals, with Passamoquoddy names for the animals in the back, is a perfect bedtime story.