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Children's Fiction Bedtime & Dreams

Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story

by (author) Aviaq Johnston

illustrated by Tamara Campeau

Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Nov 2020
Bedtime & Dreams, Polar Regions, Baby Animals, Mammals, Multigenerational
Recommended Age
0 to 2
Recommended Grade
Recommended Reading age
0 to 2
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Bowhead whales are the longest-living mammals on the planet, living over 200 years. In this heartwarming story, a grandfather bowhead recounts to his young grandchild calf all the beautiful, amazing, and surprising things he has seen in his lifetime—all while assuring the little calf that there is nothing more wondrous than the love a grandfather has for his grandchild.

Richly illustrated and lovingly told, this book is a warm and inviting read, perfect for sharing with any little one.

About the authors

Aviaq Johnston is a young Inuk author from Igloolik, Nunavut. Her debut novel Those Who Run in the Sky was shortlisted for the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature, was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Award for Young Adult Fiction, and a 2017 Honour Book for the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature. In 2018 she won the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award for Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer. She is also the author of the bestselling picture book, What's My Superpower? Aviaq loves to travel and has lived in Australia and Vietnam. She spends most of her time reading, writing, studying, and procrastinating. She divides her time between Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Ottawa, Ontario.

Aviaq Johnston's profile page

Tamara Campeau’s illustration journey began at Dawson College, where she earned her associate degree in illustration and design. Shortly after, she furthered her studies at Sheridan College, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in illustration with honours. Tamara works digitally to bring stories to life through her painterly illustrations. Her work has a strong sense of lighting and vibrant colour palettes, along with dynamic compositions. She loves creating endearing characters with a strong sense of personality and emotion. Her work is inspired by wildlife, children, and the environments they reside in. She uses this inspiration to add a layer of realism to her illustrations. When she’s not at her desk, she can be found breaking a sweat at the local gym or exploring nature with her standard poodle, Peanut.

Tamara Campeau's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Grandfather Bowhead digs deep into his past to share some of his marvellous experiences with Arvaaq, his new grandchild...Campeau’s illustrations bring the greens and blues of the ocean to life as a perfect complement to Johnston’s text."—The Globe and Mail


"Together with painterly illustrations in monochromatic blues of the ocean, this underwater tale shows the wondrous love of a grandparent for his grandchild...Tender words of affection are perfect for sharing with any young child or grandchild."—Kirkus


"The expansive illustrations, awash in marine blues and greens, capture the drama and majesty of the Arctic while also showcasing the tender relationship between the whales. A lovely choice for preschool storytimes."—Booklist


"Attention, grandparents! Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story is the sweetest story you could share with your grandchild this season...Painterly illustrations in a palette of blues adds to the calm, dreamy tone of the book. Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me A Story is a powerful, emotive book that beautifully articulates a grandfather’s love for his grandson."—Hakai Magazine


"This is an indelible picture book in which Grandfather Bowhead’s affection for Little Arvaaq is palpable. Its sweetness will stay with readers long after they turn the last page. It’s a perfect bedtime story for young ones and is an ideal pick for grandparents to read to their grandchildren."—Seattle Book Review


"Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me a Story is both love song and lullaby, wrapped up in an endearing dialogue between grandfather and young offspring."—CanLit for Little Canadians


"Grandfather Bowhead, Tell Me a Story is a story that will pull at your heart strings...Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine

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