Thanks to the Animals

by Allen Sockabasin

Other authorsRebekah Raye (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2005


Check shelf

Call number

E So


Tilbury House Publishers (2005), Edition: 3RD PRINTING, Hardcover, 32 pages


In 1900 during the Passamaquoddy winter migration in Maine, Baby Zoo Sap falls off the family bobsled and the forest animals hearing his cries, gather to protect him until his father returns to find him.

Local notes


Media reviews

K-Gr 3–As a family transports its home and belongings for the winter, a toddler accidentally falls from the family sled. One by one, the animals of the forest encircle and protect him until his father returns. Detailed watercolors bring this story of physical and emotional warmth to life. The
Show More
final page includes information on the Passamaquoddy people, and the story can be heard in Passamaquoddy and English at:
Show Less

User reviews

LibraryThing member matinicuselementary
I read Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin. Rebekah Raye painted the pictures for the story. Rebekah came and spent the day with us to show us how she painted the pictures. Story is about a baby boy named Zoo Sap who was crawling on his families sled and fell off into the snow. Zoo Sap was
Show More
crying and all the animals came to see him. the animals laid all around him and made a bed to keep him warm. The next day Zoo Sap's father found him. He was happy. He thanked each animal for keeping his baby safe and warm. I liked the squirrel the best. This was a fun book to read. By MAX
Show Less
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
When winter arrives, Joo Tum and his family prepare for the move from their summer home along the coast, to their cold-weather quarters, deep in the woods. Disassembling their log cabin, loading all their belongings onto a horse-drawn sled, they are soon on their way. But when Zoo Sap, the baby of
Show More
the family, falls off the back of the sled, where all the other children are sleeping together in a fur-wrapped pile, he is soon left behind - alone in the cold night! Luckily, his wails bring the forest animals to his side, and they use their own bodies to create a warm bed for him...

This gentle tale from Passamaquoddy storyteller and elder, Allen Sockabasin - who has also published an autobiography for adult readers, An Upriver Passamaquoddy - would make a wonderful reassurance story at bedtime. Not only does Zoo Sap's father come for him - walking back through the cold forest, when it is discovered that he is missing - but all the creatures of the forest take care of him, in the absence of his parents. I liked the positive view of the natural world offered in Thanks to the Animals, and the gratitude shown by Joo Tum to the animals, when he discovers his son safe in their care. The accompanying illustrations by Rebekah Raye, whose Bear-ly There made such a good impression on me, accentuate both the cold of the winter landscape, and the warmth of Zoo Sap's animal companions. All in all, an excellent winter-time story - a list of Passamaquoddy words is even included, at the rear!
Show Less
LibraryThing member msmarymac
A story of a Native American family that is moving from their summer home near the river to their winter home deep in the woods by bobsled. When little Zoo Sap begins to play on the sled he falls off in to the snow unnoticed by the rest of the family. The animals hear his cries and rush to his aid
Show More
working together to keep him warm and safe from the snow. When Joo Tum, his dad, reaches the winter home and notices Zoo Sap is missing he quickly returns to look for him finding him warm and happy under a very large pile of snow covered animals.

Personal Reflection: What a great story about the way nature and humans can coexist. The animals react to the cries of the little one as a parent and do the only thing they know to do, keep Zoo Sap warm. Having had the experience of losing my child in the mall (he was actually hiding from me the little stinker) I can relate to the panic that the father was feeling and the joy and relief when he found Zoo Sap safe and warm.

Classroom Extension:
1. Could be used in conjunction with a lesson on cultural tales. Native American tales have some very strong morals in the stories.
2. This book could be used to teach a lesson on helping those that need help even if they are different from you. Zoo Sap wasn’t one of the animals but they knew how to keep him warm.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Madison_DeWeerdt
This book would be really great in times of change when a family is moving or someone new is part of the family
LibraryThing member nbmars
This lovely book not only offers warm reassurance to small children about being protected, but helps convey the Native American approach to nature, including the idea that both the animals and the land are deserving of our respect and gratitude.

It is the year 1900, and the time for the
Show More
Passamaquoddy tribe to make their winter migration in Maine. Baby Zoo Sap is loaded onto the family bobsled when his family moves from their summer home into the deep woods for the winter. Zoo Sap falls off the sled and the family isn’t aware of it at first. But the animals in the forest hear his cries, and come together to snuggle him and keep him warm and safe until his father, Papa Joo Tum, comes back to find him. Joo Tum thanks each of the animals for saving his boy, and carries Zoo Sap back to the family.

Parent/Teacher material at the end of the book provides background on the Passamaquoddy tribe. (The Passamaquoddy are original natives of the area between Maine and New Brunswick.) A guide is also included for the Passamaquoddy names for the animals appearing in the story.

The author is a Passamaquoddy Storyteller, and actually has a young son named Zoo Sap. He has done a great deal of work to advance the cause of native peoples, having grown up in a world of hurt and outrage, as this bit of his biography demonstrates (from the write-up accompanying his 2010 Sampson Catalyst for Change Award from the University of Southern Maine ):

"Sockabasin, born in 1944 in the Native American village of Peter Dana Point, has worked for decades to gain recognition of and fair treatment for his people. The 10th of 11 children, he grew up in eastern Maine when native people were denied voting rights and use of public restrooms, were refused service by white barbers and were segregated from whites in movie theaters.”

Admirably, Sockabasin did not turn inward, or become consumed by anger, but instead became a tireless activist for native rights and native language preservation (one of the more popular features of his speaking tours is when he plays “Ain’t Nothing’ But A Hound Dog” using Passamaquoddy words). In addition, through his storytelling, he has helped to instigate change through the fostering of empathy and understanding.

The illustrator, Rebekah Raye, is well-known for her paintings of birds and animals. Her watercolor-and-ink pictures in this book are as warm and cozy as Zoo Sap must have been, surrounded by warm furry animals as he was kept safe and sound.

Evaluation: This is a charming book, and a perfect winter and/or bedtime story for younger children.
Show Less


Physical description

32 p.; 10.3 inches


0884482707 / 9780884482703
Page: 0.276 seconds