Friday, June 21, 2024

Celebrating Pollinators of the Gitxan Nation

When I talk about the bees and wasps and butterflies and beetles that pollinate the flowers in my garden and the surrounding meadows, I do so through a lens of western science. But that is only one way of observing the world we live in. So I was very happy to get this book in the mail a few weeks ago, as it reminded me that there are many ways to view the world around us.

The Bee Mother (series: Mothers of Xsan)
By Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson); illus. by Natasha Donovan
32 pages; ages 9-12
HighWater Press, 2024

It’s spring and bumble bee, yellowjacket, and honey bee are finding new homes. Bumble bee (Nox Ap) and yellow jacket because the newly emerged queens must start a new colony. Honey bee because her swarm has left an overcrowded hive.

So begins Hetxw’ms Gyetxw/Brett's picture book about these three different pollinators. Through the lens of Indigenous knowledge carrier, he shows the life cycles of these pollinators through the seasons. He also shows their role in the ecosystem and their connection with humans – sometimes as helper and sometimes (as when the wasps want bits of smoked salmon) as uninvited guests and downright annoying at times.

What I like about this book: I like the way the author integrates his language into the text, from the name of bumble bee to the names of the moons over the changing seasons. These names are explained within the main text. He uses text boxes to highlight facts and define words, such as “worker bees” or “pollinators.” A layer through the book shows how the Gitxan people live through the seasons in harmony with the bees.

There is also back matter: a brief introduction to the Gitxan Nation in the Northwest interior of British Columbia, Canada – and a map of the rivers. Brett also includes a list of the moons through the year, from Stories and Feasting Moon to Getting-used-to-cold moon.

The Bee Mother is the seventh book of the Mothers of Xsan series. Other books include The Raven Mother, The Frog Mother, and The Wolf Mother.  You can find out more about the author and his books at his website,

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by Deborah Sloan and Company.


  1. Thanks for always finding such great books!

  2. Oh, wow this sounds wonderful. Happy MMGM

  3. I always find bees fascinating and seem to have plenty of them in the garden and flower boxes this year. I'll be tracking down a copy of this book to further my understanding of their mysterious ways. Thanks for featuring your review on MMGM.

  4. That sounds wonderful. I love the concept.

  5. This sounds like a cool book. And it's cool how the author changed the POV to make the info more interesting.

  6. I love the title of this book! Thanks for sharing it on MMGM. Carol Baldwin

  7. I love pollinators and this book sounds like one I will really enjoy. It sounds like the lens through which it is told is interesting for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Bees are absolutely fascinating creatures (and also so important for our eco-system), so I am delighted to see books about them. I also see the -Getting-used-to-cold moon most of the year round over here! :) Thanks for sharing!

  9. As a gardener, this one looks interesting.

  10. Books about pollinators are so important to having the younger generations understand their importance. This sounds like a book kids will really like. Thanks for telling me about it.