The Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws: Council of the Animals is the sixth title in the award-winning series by Ojibwe storyteller and author Chad Solomon. This 32-page graphic novel is published under Chad’s publishing company, Little Spirit Bear Productions (LSBP).
LSBP is a Graphic Narrative company established in 2005 by the grandson of Art Solomon, the well-respected traditional healer and justice activist who taught Chad that “Laughter is the Greatest Medicine.”
The name Little Spirit Bear came from Chad’s grandfather’s totem, the Bear. The bear is known as the “Healer” within the Anishinabek community. The “Little Spirit” part of the business name reflects the idea that all thoughts have a starting point in Creation (the Universe) and have the potential to become tangible or physical.
Chad has worked professionally in comic book art since 2003. His commitment to the graphic narrative format makes the character-based storytelling from the Seven Grandfather Teachings a remarkable achievement. Each of the Seven Grandfather teachings such as Courage, Respect, Honesty, Love, Humility, Truth and Wisdom are highlighted in the Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws series.
Two mischievous Ojibwe brothers, Rabbit and Bear Paws, live in an Ojibwe village with their older adoptive parents. The boys are constantly playing tricks on their village neighbours, but in each story the boys learn valuable lessons based on Ojibwe Teachings.
In Council of Animals, the brothers learn the meaning of Debwewin, or Truth. when their father is called to a secret council with the animals where the fate of all humans will be decided. The boys and their good friend Strawberry sneak into the council to make sure their father remains safe.
It is during the discussion amongst the animals that the three friends discover the true purpose of this secret council. Will the family’s pet dog Giibot be able to save the humans or will the fierce wolf prevail?
Reluctant readers in grades 4 to 6 will find this latest graphic novel engaging and hard to put down. Each story in this series is written by Chad Solomon and Chris Meyer. Chad is responsible for the art, and with the assistance of educational consultant Tanya Leary, a Teacher Guide on CD is available with all titles in this series.
Each book in The Adventures of Rabbit and Bear Paws includes an introductory page about each of the heroes in the story, as well as a map of the Anishinabek Territory around the Great Lakes during the 18th Century. This series is highly recommended for its engaging humour told in graphic novel format from an authentic Anishinaabe voice.
Cutlines: Caption of Chad and puppet Bear Paws: Chad Solomon and Bear Paws (puppet) meet visitors during the Toronto Comic Book Festival. Photo by Chad Solomon
Caption of Chad & friends: Storyteller Chad Solomon and Bear Paws entertain children during the Alianait Arts Festival, Iqaluit, Nunavut. Photo by Chad Solomon