by Erin k. O’Connell, Illustrated by Diana Thewlis

Parallel 45 Publishing, $20.00, 32 pages

How was the Columbia River Gorge created? According to an ancient legend, the mountains of the Gorge (Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Mount Saint Helens) were formed when two brothers fell in love with the same woman. Author Erin K. O’Connell tells the tale in Loowit’s Legend. The Great Spirit had two sons, Pahtoe and Wy’East, and they argued constantly. To encourage them to bond, the Great Spirit offered them each a nation of their own if they could live together peacefully. As it often happens with brothers, the fighting did not stop, especially when the men fall in love with a beautiful young maiden named Loowit. Find out how the siblings’ issues are resolved.

Diana Thewlis’ illustrations are stunning. Her pastel color palate evokes the beauty of the natural wonder that is the Columbia River Gorge. People have lived along the Columbia River for more than twelve thousand years. They recorded clues about their lives by carving petroglyphs and drawing pictographs into rocks and cliffs. The book includes examples of these images. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the book will go toward the preservation and conservation of the Columbia River Gorge.

Elizabeth Franklin