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Heritage House Publishing Fall 2023

Blue Camas, Blue Camas
By (author): Danielle S. Marcotte Illustrated by: Alyssa Koski
Danielle S. Marcotte ,

Illustrated by :

Alyssa Koski


Heritage House - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paper over boards
Hardcover , Paper over boards


Juvenile: Age (years) 4 - 8
Nov 07, 2023
$22.95 CAD


9in x 9 in

Page Count:

48 pages


colour illustrations
Heritage House
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / Canada / Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
Picture storybooks|Children’s / Teenage fiction: Historical fiction|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Discovery and exploration|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Lives of children in the past|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Countries, cultures and national identity|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Wildlife and habitats|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Plants and trees|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Diversity, equality and inclusion|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Prejudice and intolerance|Interest age: from c 4 years
British Columbia
The captivating story of how the Blue Camas, a flower that has been cultivated on Canada’s west coast since time immemorial, came to symbolize the meeting of two contrasting ways of life and the perseverance of traditional knowledge against all odds.

Blue Camas! Blue Camas! tells the story of a flower that is native to the Northwest Coast of North America. For thousands of years, it has been considered a sacred and valuable plant by the Indigenous Peoples of this region, who harvested and traded Blue Camas bulbs all along the west coast. At the height of this period, meadows would come alive with the bright wildflowers, which would attract dozens of species of butterflies and birds, and entire villages would work together to harvest the plant and ensure its continued growth. When Europeans arrived and began to colonize the land, they did not see the value of the Blue Camas plant, and in fact saw the meadows where the plant had been harvested as ideal terrain to grow their own crops. The story takes place at the point of contact between a Lkwungen community and a group of Irish settlers, who see the land in very different ways. This beautifully illustrated picture book is an ode to a way of life that was threatened and nearly destroyed through miscommunication and colonization. It also raises awareness for food rights, biodiversity, and the preservation of ecosystems, offering children and teachers the opportunity to discuss these important themes in an open and constructive way.

  • This children’s picture book (ages 4-8) tells the story of the Blue Camas flower, a sacred plant that was harvested for millennia by Coast Salish Peoples on what is known today as Vancouver Island.
  • The author, Danielle S. Marcotte, is a French-Canadian children’s book author who specializes in writing about historical events for young people.
  • The manuscript has been evaluated by sen̓áḵw Senaqwila Wyss, a Squamish Nation ethnobotanist, to ensure cultural sensitivity and accuracy.
  • The illustrator, Alyssa Koski, a member of the Kainai Nation, is known for sensitive depictions of Indigenous cultures and customs. She illustrated kā-āciwīkicik / The Move, which was a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award.
  • The story describes early experiences of contact between Indigenous Peoples and European settlers in the mid-1800s and the differences between how the two groups viewed the land and traditional uses of medicinal plants such as the Blue Camas. The story centres on a Lkwungen girl and an Irish boy who are around the same age when their two cultures start to interact.
  • While the story touches on advanced themes such as colonization and the suppression of Indigenous cultural traditions by Europeans, the narrative is told in a clear, lyrical prose that can be understood by young readers.
  • Readers will learn how two different groups of people can look at the same thing and draw different conclusions, shaped by their own cultural experiences. The ultimate message is learning from history and the mistakes of the past, learning from the Indigenous view of land and nature, and working towards reconciliation.
  • In addition to themes of Indigenous rights and cultural differences, the story raises awareness for food rights, biodiversity, and the preservation of ecosystems, offering children and teachers the opportunity to discuss these important topics in an open and constructive way.

Danielle S. Marcotte is a bilingual children’s book author and retired journalist. For more than thirty years, she was CBC radio host and producer, interviewing countless artists, political figures, and citizens from all walks of life. Since 2009, she has published ten children’s books, as well as articles for French and English magazines and newspapers. She is a member of La Société Historique Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique. An avid traveller, she often visits her native Quebec, as well as Atlantic Canada, the Yukon, and Japan.

Alyssa Koski, a member of the Kainai Nation, is the illustrator of kā-āciwīkicik / The Move, which was a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award, and co-illustrator of Magical Beings of Haida Gwaii. She holds a BA in Visual Communications from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Koski is the recipient of the Janet Mitchell Award and the Harley Brown Artistic Endowment and the winner of the 2017 Applied Arts Magazine design award.

•Targeted print, online, and broadcast media outreach (interviews, features, reviews): CBC Indigenous, CBC North by Northwest, APTN, Globe & Mail, IndigiNews, Victoria Times-Colonist; Vancouver Sun; CHEK TV; CityNews 1130; BC History; BC BookWorld; Monday Magazine; CM: Canadian Review of Materials, Prairie Books NOW, Nation Magazine, and more.
•Advertising in Canadian Children's Book News, ULS, CCBC's Best Books for Kids and Teens, BC BookWorld, and more.
•Promotion to school, library, historical, and literary organizations, such as 49th Teachers; Canadian Teachers magazine; BC Teachers' Association, BC Teacher-Librarians Association, BC Library Association Conference, Heritage Week BC, BC Historical Federation, etc.
•Pitches to relevant literary festivals.
•Publicity and promotion in conjunction with author events.
•Outreach to nature, gardening, and botanical organizations such as BCnature, Victoria Naturalist, Vancouver Natural History Society, Victoria Natural History Society, Native Plant Society of BC, Federation of BC Naturalists, Canadian Botanical Association, West Coast N.E.S.T., etc.
•Online promotion through social media campaigns and digital advertising.
•Award submission to relevant children's literary awards: BC & Yukon Book Prizes – Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Award; Chocolate Lily Book Awards; Forest of Reading – Blue Spruce Award; Canadian Children's Book Centre - Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award & Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction; IBBY Canada - Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award; Governor General's Literary Awards; etc.
•Advertising in BC BookWorld, Canadian Children's Book News, Best Books for Kids and Teens, BC Studies, BC History, and more.
•Partner with bookstores for displays and co-op.
•Electronic ARCs.

•  Leigh Joseph (Styawat) (ethnobotanist & member of the Skwxwú7mesh First Nation)
•  Monique Gray Smith
•  Richard Van Camp
•  Phyllis Webstad
•  Lisa Boivin
•  Leona Prince
•  Nicola I. Campbell
•  (USA) Janine Gibbons
•  (USA) Valerie Segrest (Muckleshoot, author, Native food systems strategist and wild medicine expert)
•  (USA) Keith Egawa and Chenoa Egawa (Lummi and S'Klallam)
•  Heather Smith
•  (USA) Diane Wilson
•  (USA) Christine Day
•  Brittany Luby
•  (USA) Kate Messner
•  (USA) Andrea Wang
•  (USA) Emily Winfield Martin
•  (UK) Catherine Barr
•  (USA) Carole Lindstrom
•  (UK) James Sellick
•  (USA) Philip C. Stead

•  Digital collateral (social media banners, quote nuggets)
•  Electronic blad / sampler
•  Electronic ARC
•  Video interview
•  Online banner
•  Press release
•  Book trailer

For more information contact
[email protected]

"Blue Camas, Blue Camas is a captivating story revealing the overlooked history of colonial contact and its impact on Indigenous communities. Through vivid storytelling and diverse voices, it emphasizes land stewardship, cultural heritage, and fostering empathy, making it a valuable resource for children.” —Samantha Beynon, author of Oolichan Moon

“A beautiful story and an important narrative about the timeline of colonial contact . . . I am happy to share this book with my children.” —Sen’ákw, Senaqwila Wyss, Squamish Nation ethnobotanist

“Danielle S. Marcotte offers a rich, historical perspective of the amazing Blue Camas plant through the eyes of a First Nations family and a settler family.”—Teoni Spathelfer, Heiltsuk author of the Little Wolf Series

“This beautiful story weaves together a rich and important narrative. Family, nature, and the village are all intertwined, with the camas at the centre of it all. So simple and yet so poignant and true!”—Robert "Lucky" Budd, co-author (with Roy Henry Vickers) of the Northwest Coast Legends Series and A Is for Anemone: A First West Coast Alphabet

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