Skip to main content


Authors Talk: Chenoa & Keith Egawa, The Whale Child



Written and illustrated by Indigenous authors Keith Egawa and Chenoa Egawa, The Whale Child introduces children ages 7 to 12 to existing environmental issues with a message of hope, education, sharing, and action.

Note: ticket for event only. Museum admission can be purchased separately but not needed to attend event.

Written and illustrated by the brother/sister duo of Keith Egawa and Chenoa Egawa, The Whale Child sends young readers on an adventure with Shiny, a whale child turned into a boy by the ocean’s water spirit. Along with Alex, a young Coast Salish girl, the two travel the earth, confronting the realities of a planet threatened by an uncertain future. Inspired by Shiny’s hope, humor, and wisdom, Alex makes the promise to become a teacher for future generations. 

The siblings also co-wrote and illustrated Tani’s Search for the Heart (2013). They are both enrolled members of the Lummi Indian Nation. An interview with Chenoa Egawa about her heritage, which includes Swedish and Norwegian ancestors, can be seen in our current exhibition: What Does It Mean to Be Nordic?

Meet these local authors at the Museum in this free event perfect for the whole family.

Praise for The Whale Child

“The sacred art of Indigenous storytelling is beautifully upheld in The Whale Child. It teaches us of our relationship with the living Earth, about balance and respect and the responsibilities that we hold toward one another across species. The story guides the reader using traditional Coast Salish lore in a contemporary narrative, masterfully weaving the timeless wisdom of Indigenous ways of knowing into our current reality. The whale child’s journey is taken for us all. We must bear witness.”
Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset, author of Sacred Instructions

“Those of us with hands and feet (alas) who self-identify as members of the Earth’s Whale Tribe now have a new wonderful, strong, kind, and happy tale to represent us, and with which to remember our connection to All Things by. The Whale Child provides that ‘smart step in the right direction’ we all need.”
Paul Owen Lewis, author and illustrator of Storm Boy and Frog Girl