Si'ahl and the Council of Animals is a heart-warming story for children and families told through delightful animal characters, led by Si'ahl the eagle. The book gives children a tale of hope for restoring our planet. Our companion coloring books provides additional learning and fun. Learn More
On the third day, new formations could be found along the paths in the woods, by the bridge crossing the river, and on the large rooftop of the barn at the edge of the meadow.
The butterflies had made the most beautiful design in a large bush at the side of one of the paths where human children walked each morning. If you looked closely, you would see H E L P in beautiful yellows and oranges.
The earthworms has straightened and curved their bodies just so in the middle of the bridge that crossed the river. Again, there it was: H E L P. The barn swallows had lined up to make their own H E L P on the side of the barn facing the house.
The squirrels had rounded up lots of pine cones and rolled them into place onto a bench next to the hiking path. The letters H E L P appeared there on the bench.
Now the animals waited. Children playing a fast game of tag ran past the butterflies. Teenagers walked over the bridge, holding small rectangular objects next to their ears. Hikers drank from water bottles and chatted with each other.
How did the animals learn to spell? Will the humans be able to figure out what the animals are asking? How will it turn out? You will have to read the book to find out!
Be sure to check out the family activities in our blog at Climate Busters' Corner.
The coloring and activity book, Si'ahl & Friends, contains a variety of activities that teach children about animals and their habitats as well as activities for families to undertake to improve the health of our planet. Each activity features one of the animals from the story book, Si'ahl and the Council of Animals, and is paired with one of artist Andrea's illustrations from the story book. These intricate and lovely coloring pages will keep children captivated for hours.
In Chatty Gray Squirrel's Habitat Hunt, one of the activity pages, children are asked to look around outside--where they live, a park nearby or in a wilder area. For each animal that they see, they are asked to note on the page where they saw the animal (part of its habitat) and what the animal was doing. In this way, the children will begin to focus their attention more often on the natural world. The more they see and learn, the more they will want to help our animal friends.
Sammy Painted Turtle is one of the characters from Si'ahl and the Council of Animals. Here is his poem thanking Nature for the gifts that keep him safe and happy:
Up from the mud where I sheltered
all winter, basking in sunshine
after a nice cool swim,
always grateful for the armor
I carry on my back.
Is there danger near?
Into my shell I disappear!
Authors Jane Lister Reis and Margie Lister Muenzer created Si'ahl and the Council of Animals with the intent of reaching children's hearts through a charming tale of forest and meadow creatures living in the Pacific Northwest. Led by Si'ahl the Bald Eagle (pronounced see-all), characters including Braveheart Black Bear, Swoopy Swallow, Chatty Gray Squirrel and others figure out an ingenious way to contact humans to ask for their help to save their habitats. We hope to engage future climate busters through our books. Our books are beautifully illustrated by Andrea Hiotis. We strongly believe that given children's innate love of animals, our books will inspire children and their parents to rethink how their daily actions can truly make a difference not only for humans, but for all inhabitants in our community ecosystems.
Si'ahl & Friends, a companion to the story book, is a coloring and activity book that highlights the lovely illustrations by Andrea Hiotis and includes different activities to deepen children's love for animals, teach them more about animal habitats, and to encourage children and their families and friends to engage in climate-friendly activities in their homes and communities.
Nature's Gifts, also a companion to the story book, teaches children about gratitude for all that Nature provides. It features poems from many of the story's characters, including not only Si'ahl, but Sammy Painted Turtle, Swoopy Swallow, Daisy Deer and others, each highlighting gifts received from Nature and paired with a delightful illustration begging to be colored. The book also encourages budding poets and families to do their part in giving back to Nature'
Our blog space is devoted to sharing words, pictures and actions between the authors and our young readers. We will share sustainability activities, inspiring stories, great reads and videos. But most importantly we want to share stories of what our young Climate Busters are doing to make our earth a better place. Are you ready to become one of our Cimate Busters? We hope you will connect with us on Facebook and share your actions as a Climate Buster. Together, we can do much!
Si'ahl and the Council of Animals is available in paperback, hardcover and Kindle. This book as well as the companion books, Si'ahl & Friends and Nature's Gifts, are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as in select book stores.
Si'ahl and the Council of Animals is also available as an audio book at Tales2 Go, website https://www.tales2go.com.
The story is delightfully narrated by beloved story-teller Regi Carpenter.
Read our reviews.
Plush toys are available through Stuffed Safari.
Ordering books directly from Si'ahl and Friends is reserved for bulk orders (10 or more) for use in classroom, homeschool group, scout troop etc. Bulk orders may qualify for wholesale prices. Combination packages including books and stuffed animals may also be ordered directly from Si'ahl and Friends. Contact us using the red messaging icon for specifics .
Using the story book, Si'ahl and the Council of Animals, along with educational units created by the authors makes an impactful educational experience combining reading and natural science. Contact us using the red messaging icon for more information on incorporating our materials into your classroom.
Adding animal critters will enhance a child's experience with the story book. Six different, delightful plush toys are available through the company Stuffed Safari. Note that Stuffed Safari animals have different names than our book characters.
Request bandanas with names imprinted if desired. Additional cost for bandanas.
Jane and Margie were fortunate to grow up next to the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks in northeast Ohio. Beginning at age 10, they began exploring the park trails on horseback. Both are committed to changing the way many relate to our ecosystems today--from egocentric, extractive policies to ecocentric, regenerative practices. Jane lives in the Seattle area with her husband and is an educator and regenerative farmer with First Light Farm. Margie is in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and is a trained leader with Climate Reality Project. She has recently retired from a career in physical therapy. The authors see their books as a way to engage children in exploring the natural world and learning about their animal neighbors and the habitats they can help preserve with their families and community members.
Andrea Hiotis is a talented artist who brought life to the different animal characters and incorporated the beauty of nature into each illustration for the Si'ahl books. It was Andrea's drawings that led the authors to pursue the companion coloring and activity book, Si'ahl and Friends. Andrea lives in Port Richey, Florida with her husband and does a variety of commissioned work as an artist. You may reach Andrea through the messaging icon.
Our main character, Si'ahl the Bald Eagle, is named in honor of Chief Si'ahl, known to most as Chief Seattle, who became chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish peoples. While we suggest you pronounce his name 'see-all', you can listen to Vi Hilbert, a tribal elder, pronounce it in the native language here. Visit the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center website to learn more about the Duwamish people in Seattle today. Learn about the Suquamish people and their activities today through the Suquamish Tribe website.
We include a quote from Chief Si'ahl in our book, still relevant so many years later:
What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.
Jane Lister Reis and her sister, Margie Lister Muenzer have created a great book for kids on listening to the environment and caring for it. When the animals of the forest begin to suffer from the changing climate, Si'ahl, a bald eagle, calls a council of the animals. (The authors engaged in dialogue with the Duwamish Tribe about using the name Si'ahl, which is the Duwamish name of Chief Seattle, and honor him with this story). When the animals cry out for help, one family learns to listen to the animals and to work to care for our common home, Mother Earth. The book is illustrated with line drawings by Andrea Hoitis and it could be used as a small coloring book - although there is a larger "Si'ahl & Friends Coloring and Activity Book," that is a great companion to the story book. David Kopacz
The dilemma of how to talk about climate change with kids and families is real. This book, written by twin sisters and illustrated by their cousin, is a family collaboration that provides a light-hearted way to present the serious info about climate change. This would work well for elementary and middle school classes, as well as for parents and anyone who works with youth. Joan Gregerson, Climate Action Challenge
Love this book and it's accompanied coloring and activity book. In thoughtful and helpful ways, this book helps our children hear the animals speak and it remind us of the wonders, the beauty and the fragility of our natural world. A wonderful tool to help the conversation flow. Harriet Shugarman, ClimateMama
Dan George (1899-1981), former chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (and Academy Award nominee for his role opposite Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man), advised us to talk to the animals. “If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys.”
Had all of us been introduced to this idea when we were children, the world would be a far better place today. This funny and sweet little book provides an entertaining introduction to thinking about talking with animals, and thinking about what animals might be trying to say to us. The delightful illustrations lend themselves to coloring. And, in fact, two coloring books can accompany this book in the task of letting kids know what’s at stake in a time when climate change is of paramount concern.
Quote from the book: “Mayor Green . . . and his two sons came across chickadees who were placing bits of sticks on the sidewalk . . . “Dad,” yelled Matt, “they are spelling THANK YOU!” Charlie had his phone with him and took a video of the birds at work. When they got home, Charlie put his video out on You-Tube. Before the end of the day, this video had been seen by thousands of families.” Kate Dunn, Chapel Hill, NC