Grand Chief Salamoo Cook Is Coming to Town!
Story and songs Tomson Highway Illustrations Delphine Renon Featuring performances by Coral Egan, Alexandre Désilets, Moe Clark and Angel Baribeau Narration Jimmy Blais
Once upon a magical time, a young rabbit named Weeskits hurried home to Kisoos—a town known as the Earth’s belly button—to deliver some thrilling news. Salamoo Cook, the Grand Chief of all rabbits in the world, was on his way to announce a mysterious contest. The prize? A year’s supply of all-healing waaskee-choos juice fresh from spruce cones that have just fallen. Would Weeskits be able to help his brother Keegach win the juice to rid his wife of the dreadful manchoos?
From Tomson Highway, acclaimed author and playwright, best known for his plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing and most recently his award-winning memoir, Permanent Astonishment. Grand Chief Salamoo Cook Is Coming to Town! is a laugh-out-loud riot of a tale, interspersed with nine jazzy songs performed in Cree. This musical picture book includes a QR code to access the narrated story and songs online and a glossary of Cree words used throughout the tale. A free teaching guide and activity sheets developed by the Cree Literacy Network are available for download.
Applause for “Grand Chief Salamoo Cook Is Coming to Town.” The characters—all rabbits—are adorable, and in their humour, their attitudes, their silliness and their wisdoms, they reflect reserve realities many Indigenous people will recognize as home made special. BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE
Pub Date: 2023
Ages: 7 to 9 / Grades 2 to 4
Keywords: Cree / Travel / Friendship / Generosity
Tomson Highway is one of Canada’s most renowned storytellers. As a celebrated author, playwright, and musician, his work shines a light on Indigenous people and culture. His plays, The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, are performed around the world. His memoir, Permanent Astonishment, won the 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. In 2022, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Highway is also an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1998, Maclean’s magazine named him one of the “100 most important people in Canadian history.”
Delphine Renon is a French illustrator, ceramicist, and graphic designer. After graduating from École de Communication visuelle de Paris, she joined Éditions Nathan jeunesse where she became artistic director in 1998. Since 2014, she has illustrated over 30 picture books including The Quiet Crocodile and Emmett and Caleb, which was nominated for the 2020 Kate Greenaway Medal.
Angel Baribeau is a Montreal-based artist originally from the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec. Performing under the name Siibii, their single “YOY” climbed CBC Music's Top 20, leading to them being named one of CBC's top Indigenous artists to watch in 2023.
Moe Clark is a multidisciplinary Métis artist, spoken word poet, educator, artistic producer, public speaker, and activist. Following the success of her debut and sophomore albums (Within and Circle of She), she has performed at national and international stages.
Alexandre Désilets is a Montreal-based singer-songwriter who has released four pop albums as well as the sweeping orchestral album, Windigo. His career is peppered with awards and honours including the Festival de la chanson de Granby, GAMIQ, ADISQ, and Prix Félix-Leclerc.
Coral Egan is a two-time Juno-nominated Canadian jazz and pop singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Montreal, Egan has released five critically acclaimed albums including Dreamers, a recent collaboration with her mother, performer extraordinaire Karen Young.
A member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, narrator Jimmy Blais is best known for his portrayal of Watio on APTN's Canadian Screen Award-nominated comedy, Mohawk Girls. Born and raised in Montreal, he attended the Theatre Performance program at Concordia University and has worked professionally for The Stratford Festival, The Centaur, Geordie Productions, Porte Parole and La Licorne.