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I Can't Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam

By Bernelda Wheeler
Illustrated by Herman Bekkering
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Fiction, Indigenous, Cooking & Food, Environment, Mammals
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Traditional Foods, Contemporary Setting, STEM, Energy, Structures

Interest Age: 3–5
Grade: p–k
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell J, Lexile® Framework for Reading: AD490L
Paperback : 9781553796626, 32 pages, March 2016
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553798620, 30 pages, August 2019
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553798637, 30 pages, August 2019
Ebook (Mobi) : 9781553798644, 30 pages, August 2019

Practise the important pre-reading concepts of rhythm and repetition with this picture book perfect for reading aloud.


This beloved Indigenous classic begins when a little boy asks, “Mom, can I have some bannock?” Despite having all the ingredients, Mom can’t make bannock.

As the little boy asks “why,” beginning readers learn about the connections between living things in an ecosystem through the ripple effects of a beaver building a dam.

Children will be eager to chime in as Mom answers the little boy’s questions about the power outage in their community and how it impacts his family. Enjoy Mom’s bannock with your young reader using the recipe in the back of the book.


Recommended for all elementary school libraries.

Sharon A. McLennan McCue, CM Association

The First Lady of Indigenous Broadcasting . ..[left] behind a huge legacy and a lasting impact on future Indigenous writers, journalists and her own descendants.

CBC Podcasts, CBC

This cumulative story of why a young boy can't have bannock is pure fun to read. It's wonderful for readers who enjoy If You Give a Mouse a Cookie kind of tales.
Two things I enjoyed about this book include: everyone wins - the boy and the beaver, and there is a recipe for bannock at the back of the book.

Dickens Library

This is a great picture book for showing causation and the connection of events. I plan on using this to teach students how everything that they write should be fully supported...a good opening activity (for teachers).

Daniel, Goodreads

This book is a cute look at the ways many things can be connected, even when they don't seem like they would be, especially the impact humans and animals can have on one another. The simple sketch style artwork is pleasant to look at and easy to follow. The repetitive writing style makes it suitable for children of all ages. Recommended!

Elizabeth, The Feminist Bibliothecary