THE FIRST FIRE
A Cherokee Story
No matter how small or insignificant you think you are; you can accomplish great things.
The First Fire, A Cherokee Story happens in a time when animals could do many of the things that people do. The Creator gave the animals the world to live on, but they were without a source for heat at night. Great Thunder and his sons saw the plight of the animals so he sent lightning down to strike a tree. The tree burst into flames but the tree was on an island. Many animals tried to bring the fire over the water to the shore, but they were all unsuccessful. One small creature, the Water Spider then volunteered. Curious, the animals said to her “We know you could get there safely, but how would you bring the fire back without getting burned?” Water Spider was successful and to this day, the water spider is revered in Cherokee culture.
A heartwarming tale of kinship and community.” Kirkus Reviews
Author: Brad Wagnon is a lifelong resident of the Gideon Community and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He taught Cherokee History, Culture and Language at Tahlequah High School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for 10 years. Brad currently works for Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach as a Technical Assistance Specialist. He trains community leaders how to better serve their communities and manage non-profits. Brad has written two Cherokee Children’s Books, How the World was Made in 2015 and The Land of the Great Turtles in 2018.
Illustrator: Alex Stephenson is a therapist, author, and artist. As a licensed professional counselor, he has served as a therapist for the Cherokee Nation since 2014. Alex has written and illustrated books on friendship, acceptance, anxiety, and treating others compassionately with the goal of helping children and parents discuss difficult topics in a comfortable way. The First Fire is the third Cherokee children’s book that Alex has collaborated on with his co-author and longtime friend, Brad Wagnon.