Tani's Search for the Heart Reviewed By Kristi Bernard of
Kristi Bernard

Reviewer Kristi Bernard: Kristi graduated from Wichita State University with a BA in English with minors in Education and Minority Studies. She writes fiction and non-fiction children's books and was the contributing editor for the National Writing For Children Center. Kristi reviews for several sites including In addition, she is a parenting expert for She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustruators (SCBWI), the Association of Children's Authors and Illustrators of Color (ACAIC), and the Kansas City Writers Meetup Group. You can fnd out more about Kristi by Clicking Here.

By Kristi Bernard
Published on August 24, 2014

Author: Keith Egawa and Chenoa Egawa
ISBN: 9780615769110

Author: Keith Egawa and Chenoa Egawa
ISBN: 9780615769110

Young readers who enjoy a quest that will take them on a wonder filled journey then, this enlightening story will have them intrigued. Tani has learned from her grandmother a tale of the Stick Indian. It is a magical being that lived in the forest. Along with learning about the Stick Indian, Tani also learned about creatures in the forest that used to speak to humans. With the forest at threat by man, it is time for Tani to go on a journey to learn to speak to and for the creatures of the forest.

On her journey to the ocean she is in search for the Heart. She sees the Stick Indian briefly. She is afraid but knows she must be brave. She encounters creatures that will help guide her to the ocean. The first creature is an Otter who helps her cross the rushing river. Next is a salamander who guides her through the forest. Next, Tani rides on the back of a giant frog who introduces her to a bear who shows her where to rest safely for the night. Each creature shares valuable information with Tani about the land, other creatures and their history with man. The next morning, Tani makes her way to the ocean. She is brave and goes into the water where she learns more about herself than she could have ever imagined. Will Tani find the heart she is searching for? You'll have to read the story to see.

Young readers can become engaged with the culture and history that revolves around this tale. Children will learn a lot about what it means to take a journey to find out more about themselves. Parents and teachers can open up dialogue about different cultures and speak of their own quests or journey. Colorful illustrations bring the story to life and add to the imagination of the reader. This is also a story about the destruction of our forests. By speaking for the creatures Tani can bring about an awareness to those who will listen. Young readers can perhaps learn more about the issues surrounding forests and the animals that live there.

Keith and Chenoa Egawa are a brother and sister writing and illustrating team of Lummi and S'Klallam Indian ancestry. Keith is a novelist with a background in education reform and social work. Chenoa is a singer, storyteller and ceremonial leader, who has worked as a professional illustrator, international indigenous human rights advocate and educator.

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