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We Are Water Protectors

Do you strive to read books with powerful messages? 

Do you strive to read books with powerful language? 

Do you strive to read books written by authors who present an image of life that might be different from those of your students? 

This stunning, powerful, Caldecott Award winning picture book, “We are Water Protectors” written by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade is a must have for your library. 

This is not a text that children will understand with a first read. Within the book there is:

  • Powerful vocabulary such as,” sacred,” “foretold,” and “nourish”
  • Powerful language such as, “The river’s rhythm runs through my veins.” 
  • Powerful metaphors such as the “black snake” that represents the Dakota Access Pipeline

This is a text that you should read with your children again and again. Each time, digging a little deeper, absorbing more beauty, more power and more meaning. 

After the first read, my students asked questions like: 

I wonder what they mean by “my people.” 

I wonder what they mean by “water is alive.”

Children turned and talked with their partners to discuss their ideas. Conversations turned to the entire community as they shared their theories and looked to support them with evidence from the text. Children strived to understand the bigger meaning of the text. They said,

“We should not pollute the water. We are water protectors.”

“It makes me think that all of us can protect.”

“I think the author was trying to teach us to stand up and protect what we believe in.”

Happy reading!

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