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The Voyageur's Paddle by Kathy-Jo Wargin
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The Voyageur's Paddle

by Kathy-Jo Wargin

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The Voyageur's Paddle is beautiful picture book which gives children a feel for the life of an early voyageur and his Metis son. Jacques, a young boy with an Ojibwa/Anishinabe mother and a French-Canadian father, longs for the day when he can travel the rivers with his father, paddling European goods and beaver pelts for a living. When Edouard, Jacques's father, is lost with other travelers in an unexpected autumn blizzard, Jacques waits by the river, repeatedly and prayerfully chanting a voyageur song to bring his father home. Jacques's vigil by the river proves to his father, who eventually returns, that Jacques indeed has the stuff to weather the elements and play his part in the fur trade.

There are many fine details in the illustrations, showing the melding of early French-Canadian and Aboriginal ways. Edouard wears the Metis sash, a medicine bag, and a Celtic cross. The tale acknowledges the ways in which Aboriginal people aided and instructed the early Europeans so they could survive in a harsh land. This is exactly the sort of book I was looking for to reach some young Canadian history students. Many students commented how much they enjoyed the book. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Dec 24, 2014 |
This book tells the story of a little boy as he waits for his father to return home from trading on the Great Lakes. It is a great book to read for a Social Studies read-aloud to get students interested in learning about voyageurs and the fur trade. ( )
  etwinney | Mar 2, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kathy-Jo Warginprimary authorall editionscalculated
Geister, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Follows the yearly cycle of the voyageur Edouard as he travels to Grand Portage, trading furs for goods that he uses to purchase more furs during the winter months from the native villages.

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