I Am Sausal Creek / Soy El Arroyo Sausal is a new illustrated children's book about Sausal Creek. The story is by Melissa Reyes, illustrations by Robert Trujillo, and translation by Cinthya Muñoz. 

What People Are Saying

"I love this book. There are so many layers. The illustrations are deceptively gorgeous, because they are also a visual narrative about values. The story is surprisingly easygoing, because it is also a people's history and an environmentalist allegory. And most of all, I Am Sausal Creek is a story about resilience and renewal, which is to say, it is story about Oakland."

– Innosanto Nagara, Author/Illustrator, A is for Activist and Counting on Community  

"I am Sausal Creek is a story of redemption. It is the story of one creek in Oakland, CA, but it could easily represent thousands of other creeks across the United States.

Melissa Reyes take us on a journey of 300 years—from pristine wilderness, to degradation, to redemption. She shows how people can and do make a difference in making what was once beautiful, beautiful again. I highly recommend this book for both its historical accuracy and message."

– Madeleine Dunphy, Web of Life Children's Books, www.mdunphy.com

"Connection to history of place is how we recognize ourselves as part of a continuum from the past to the present and into the future. I Am Sausal Creek offers young readers an opportunity to recognize their connections to the natural world and the effects of agriculture, animal husbandry, deforestation, and urbanization; and in turn, to help protect our natural  resources for generations beyond their own. It also offers families a local adventure into Oakland’s living natural history. I write you to highly recommend a grant for Melissa Reyes’ children’s book,I Am Sausal Creek.

– Summer Brenner, author of Oakland Tales, Lost Secrets of The Town

"Environmental justice for children at its best!  Reyes captures the essence of Sausal Creek and how it has flowed through time. I Am Sausal Creek teaches children the history of Bay Area communities and ecology through the creek’s perspective. My 3rd graders absolutely love this book and it was easy to incorporate into my social studies, science, and writing curriculum."

– Seema Patel, third-grade teacher

" Melissa’s book fills a huge gap in teaching primary students about how people can affect their environment. Teaching the history of this beautiful watershed here in Oakland helps young children understand the work that environmentalists do and its importance. If children then get the opportunity to participate in restoration they can be pro-active, becoming passionate and hopeful about the environment. This book is a tool that teachers can use to encourage their students to understand and do this important work—right in their backyards."

– Helene Moore, technology instructor, Joaquin Miller Elementary School, Oakland, CA

Links and References