Your cart is empty.

The Frog Mother

By Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson
Illustrated by Natasha Donovan
Series: Mothers of Xsan
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Children's Nonfiction, Environmental Science & Ecosystems, Indigenous, Frogs & Toads, Seasons
Big Ideas: Aspects of Indigenous Cultures, Storytelling and Oral Culture, Worldviews, Teachings, and Protocols, STEM, Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Ecosystems, Life Cycles, Seasonal Cycles
Cultures & Peoples: Gitxsan
Indigenous Languages: Gitxsanimx, Words or Phrases

Interest Age: 9–11
Grade: 4–6
Reading Level: Fountas & Pinnell S, Lexile® Framework for Reading: 1010L
Hardcover : 9781553799016, 32 pages, April 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553799023, 32 pages, May 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553799030, 32 pages, May 2021

Explore frog life cycles in this engaging look at how an ecosystem’s animals, people, and seasons are intertwined.


To the Gitxsan of Northwestern British Columbia, Nox Ga’naaw is a storyteller, speaking truths of the universe. After Nox Ga’naaw, the frog mother, releases her eggs among the aquatic plants of a pond, the tiny tadpoles are left to fend for themselves. As they hatch, grow legs, and transform into their adult selves, they must avoid the mouths of hungry predators. Will the young frogs survive to spawn their own eggs, continuing a cycle 200 million years in the making?

Book four of the Mothers of Xsan series follows the life cycle of the columbia spotted frog. Learn about why this species is of special significance to the Gitxsan and how Nox Ga'naaw and her offspring are essential to the balance that is life.


  • Long-listed, First Nation Communities READ 2022
  • Short-listed, Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher 2022


Among Loanstars Junior Top 10 Picks


Among CBC Books 28 Canadian middle-grade books we are excited to read in spring 2021

CBC Books

In his engaging book, Hetxw'ms Gyetxw enhances plain biological facts by putting them in their cultural context; for example, the Frog Mother reflects the Gitxsan Nation’s matrilineal system. Donovan provides wonderfully sinuous illustrations that deftly capture frog movement and utilize color.

Kirkus Reviews

Readers are treated to an exploration of both the life cycle of frogs and, in particular, the role that frog mothers play in the lives of their offspring with the help of Donovan’s breathtaking illustrations.

Jeffrey Canton, The Globe and Mail

Highly recommended. Every school library in Canada should own copies of this remarkable series. Parents will enjoy reading them with kids at home.

Vancouver Sun

The biological and ecological knowledge is skillfully intertwined with the traditional and contemporary lives of the Gitxsan. The artwork is exemplary. It works with the text not only to illustrate but to add layers of meaning and connections.

The Ormsby Review

Highly recommended.

American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

Among Bank Street College of Education's The Best Children's Books of the Year (2022 edition)

Bank Street College of Education Children's Book Committee