Caribou Song


32 pages
ISBN 0-00-225522-7
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Brian Deines
Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is professor emerita of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University and an avid outdoor recreationist. She is the
author of several books, including The Mountain Is Moving: Japanese
Women’s Lives, Kurlek and Margaret Laurence: T


This brief, lyrical story for small children has the magical quality of
a folk tale. It should move urban children toward a closer understanding
of the lifestyles of Canada’s northern peoples and of the terrible
beauty of the Arctic and its wildlife.

Two small boys live in the Far North almost beyond the tree line where
the lakes and rivers are snow-covered for most of the year. They live
with their parents, a black dog called Ootsie, and eight huskies. The
entire family follows the caribou herd all year long.

On a day in late May, the two boys wander off from their parents and
begin to amuse themselves with a song that mimics the caribou and is
believed to attract them. And it does. A river of caribou thunder past
the frightened children. Before long their parents manage to find them,
laughing together on top of a large rock.

Caribou Song, a brief but powerfully evocative tale, is beautifully
written and illustrated. Tomson Highway, one of Canada’s most
important Aboriginal voices, is a novelist and an award-winning
playwright. Brian Deines, artist and photographer, graduated from the
Alberta College of Art and has illustrated many fine children’s books.
Highly recommended.


Highway, Tomson., “Caribou Song,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,