If You Want to Visit a Sea Garden

If You Want to Visit a Sea Garden

Written by: Weisman, Kay
Illustrated by: Vickers, Roy Henry
ages 5 to 8 / grades K to 3

Discover the wonder of ancient sea gardens on the Northwest Coast

Sea gardens have been created by First Peoples on the Northwest coast for more than three thousand years. These gardens consist of stone reefs that are constructed at the lowest tide line, encouraging the growth of clams and other marine life on the gently sloped beach.

This lyrical story follows a young child and an older family member who set out to visit a sea garden early one morning, as the lowest tides often occur at dawn. After anchoring their boat, they explore the beach, discover the many sea creatures that live there, hear the sputtering of clams and look closely at the reef. They reflect on the people who built the wall long ago, as well as those who have maintained it over the years. After digging for clams, they tidy up the beach, then return home.

An author’s note provides further information about sea gardens (also known as clam gardens), which yield a reliable food source and have been traditional places of learning. They have been found along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to British Columbia to Washington State, and some of these gardens are being restored today.

The manuscript has been vetted and approved by the scientists of the Clam Garden Network and Kwaxsistalla Wathl’thla Clan Chief Adam Dick. Roy Henry Vickers, whose ancestry includes the Tsimshian, Haida and Heiltsuk First Nations, has created hauntingly beautiful images to accompany the text.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2
>With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.6
Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Discover the wonder of ancient sea gardens on the Northwest Coast

Sea gardens have been created by First Peoples on the Northwest coast for more than three thousand years. These gardens consist of stone reefs that are constructed at the lowest tide line, encouraging the growth of clams and other marine life on the gently sloped beach.

This lyrical story follows a young child and an older family member who set out to visit a sea garden early one morning, as the lowest tides often occur at dawn. After anchoring their boat, they explore the beach, discover the many sea creatures that live there, hear the sputtering of clams and look closely at the reef. They reflect on the people who built the wall long ago, as well as those who have maintained it over the years. After digging for clams, they tidy up the beach, then return home.

An author’s note provides further information about sea gardens (also known as clam gardens), which yield a reliable food source and have been traditional places of learning. They have been found along the Pacific coast, from Alaska to British Columbia to Washington State, and some of these gardens are being restored today.

The manuscript has been vetted and approved by the scientists of the Clam Garden Network and Kwaxsistalla Wathl’thla Clan Chief Adam Dick. Roy Henry Vickers, whose ancestry includes the Tsimshian, Haida and Heiltsuk First Nations, has created hauntingly beautiful images to accompany the text.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2
>With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.6
Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd - Sep 1, 2020
Specifications 32 pages | 10.25 in x 8.5 in
Supporting Resources
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Teacher's Guide

Praise for author Kay Weisman and illustrator Roy Henry Vickers for If You Want to Visit a Sea Garden:

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year, 2021

“The text and illustrations combine grace and knowledge, offering a stunning nonfiction picture book that celebrates First Nations cultural traditions.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“This engaging tale is a natural for lessons about ecology and units on Indigenous peoples, and the illustrations will pop for story-hour audiences.” — Booklist

“A lyrical story for nature-loving readers, told with reverence for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.” — Kirkus Reviews

This beautiful book will enhance awareness of the tradition through its impressive visual presentation.” — CM Review of Materials

“Kay Weisman’s lyrical writing style ignites the senses … [v]isually stunning.” — Canadian Children’s Book News

“[T]his book conveys the importance of environmental stewardship and inculcating a love for the land and sea in children.” — Vancouver Writers Fest

“Melodic prose speaks directly to the reader, fully immersing you in the experience. … The trademark bold, colorful art of celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers evokes a sense of place and purpose.” — Hakai Magazine

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Praise for Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd for Hello Humpback!:

“Graceful, well-constructed rhymes pair with First Nations artist Vickers’s crisp, luminous scenes … It’s a gorgeous glimpse of the distinctive landscapes and creatures of the Northwest, and it will enchant residents and nonlocals alike.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review


Praise for Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd for Peace Dancer:

“A rare variant of a nearly universal myth, with powerfully evocative illustrations.” — Kirkus Review

Audience ages 5 to 8 / grades K to 3
Reading Levels Guided Reading O
Fountas & Pinnel Text Level O
Key Text Features author's note
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.6
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2