Children's Book To Be Released
About Columbia River Gorge

Parallel45 announces the coming of the region’s first children’s picture book, Loowit’s Legend, The Story of the Columbia River Gorge, written by Erin K. O’Connell (Hood River, OR) and illustrated by Diana Thewlis (Vancouver, WA).

Loowit’s Legend recounts a historic, local legend about the origins of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Saint Helens.  This new book showcases stunning original watercolor illustrations alongside the adapted tale of two brothers, Pahtoe and Wy’East, who compete for the love of a beautiful maiden named Loowit.  In doing so, they defy the Great Spirit’s wishes and set the stage for the creation of the Cascades.

Intended to entertain, Loowit’s Legend is a folk tale, complete with a valuable lesson for children.  Additionally, the book includes an educational inset that acknowledges the region’s first inhabitants and their irreplaceable artwork left behind as etchings and paintings on the cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge.  These historic petroglyphs and pictographs have been left exposed to weather and vandals, so their continued preservation is an important lesson.

"The story has been passed along by word-of-mouth for years, so I consider it an honor to bring this unique local legend to the children of our region to enjoy as a picture book," says author, Erin O'Connell.

O'Connell and Illustrator, Thewlis, took several years to research the history of the Columbia River Gorge and worked to secure the nod of authenticity from local Native American groups, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

"It's hard to say where the legend originated," says O'Connell.  "For that reason, it was important to us to honor the many early people who resided in the region.  We're conscientious that the story we tell today will be the story that's remembered tomorrow in the minds of our children."

Loowit’s Legend will be available for sale online and in area retail and souvenir channels in January 2012.

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With the launch of Loowit's Legend, we've partnered with the Columbia Land Trust to donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of every book to help conserve and care for vital lands, waters, and wildlife of the Columbia River region.