Zoe and the Fawn
by Catherine Jameson
illustrated by Julie Flett
Theytus Books, 2006
$12.95; 32 pp, ages 4 – 8
Zoe and the Fawn is a quietly brilliant picture book. Pattern text provides a predictable story structure perfect for young children learning to decode, yet also ideal for preschoolers enjoying the rhythmic sound of the story. Under the guidance of her father, Zoe discovers a fawn under an aspen tree and enjoys a nature walk to look for its mother. Jameson’s text achieves a feel that is slow-paced and serene; Flett’s illustrations boast modern lines and magnificent texture. The book was a finalist for the 2007 Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature prize.
Classroom Connections: Zoe and the Fawn lends itself to the comprehension strategies of Predicting and Questioning. Young children can guess both the words and the storyline. Jameson has also included the Okanagan vocabulary for wildlife that Zoe encounters. Although readers who are unfamiliar with the Okanagan language may not necessarily be able to pronounce or learn these words, their inclusion adds to both the book’s educative value and its unique visual appeal. This choice to include a second language is an underused but authentic way to celebrate Canada’s multicultural heritage. Accordingly, Zoe and the Fawn was the 2007 Bronze Medal Winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for a Multicultural Picture Book.
Review by Kim Siwak.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2013 issue.