Tsimshian storyteller and artist Roy Henry Vickers shares an adventure from his childhood in the Indigenous village of Kitkatla, on BC’s north coast.
When Uncle Johnny accidentally catches an orphaned sea lion pup in his fishing net, young Roy and his cousin Bussy take responsibility for nursing the tiny creature back to health. They name the pup Ben, short for Teeben—the Tsimshian word for sea lion. With the boys’ loving care, Ben eats and eats and grows and grows, getting up to all sorts of fun in Kitkatla, including towing the boys in their skiff and showing local dogs who is boss! Eventually, Ben must return to the wild, leaving his human friends to remember him fondly.
Fifteen original illustrations by Roy Henry Vickers accompany the text, capturing the beauty of the West Coast and the richness of village life. Ben the Sea Lion will delight readers of all ages.
Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, printmaker and storyteller. He is the illustrator and co-author of Harbour Publishing’s popular children’s First West Coast Book series and Northwest Coast Legends series, the latter of which were all shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award: Raven Brings the Light in 2014, Cloudwalker in 2015, Orca Chief in 2016 and Peace Dancer in 2017. His other books include Storyteller (Harbour Publishing, 2014) and Voices from the Skeena (Harbour Publishing, 2019). He lives in Hazelton, BC.
Robert (Lucky) Budd holds an MA in history and has digitized many high-profile oral history collections including that of the Nisga'a First Nation. He is the author of Voices of British Columbia (Douglas & McIntyre, 2010), a bestseller which was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2014). He currently lives in Victoria, BC.