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Monday, December 28, 2015

Learning about the Inuit with Books: Alego and Arctic Adventures -- Book Reviews

Disclosure: Groundwood Books gave me copies of these books free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I am going to share with you two beautiful books that teach about the Inuit culture. This winter we have had a very warm December, however today the chill was back in the air and snow and sleet are in the forecast for overnight into the morning, so it seems the right time to share about the Arctic.  The first is a book of tales from the lives of Inuit artists. After each story is information about the artist and a picture of his or her work.
http://houseofanansi.com/collections/imprint-groundwood/products/arctic-adventures



 Arctic Adventures by Raquel Rivera and illustrated by Jirina Marton stories from four Inuit artists' lives and then provides information about the artist and his or her work. With each story the reader gets a glimpse of Inuit life. The stories tell tales of going on hunting trips. fishing trips and how the animals are used for everything from food to clothes and more. The life is explained as one woman loses her husband and has to find a way to survive without having a hunter in the immediate family. Another tells about a hunting trip that goes awry when the goddess of the sea is seen. There are so much of the culture packed into the stories and the artwork. It gives a non-Native American a picture of what life is like there. 
Kenojuak Fenster (Oakville)
Stained Glass Window by Kenojuak Ashevak located at John Bell Chapel of Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Photo By Ansgar Walk (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The artists are Pudlo Pudlat, Kenojuak Ashevak, Jessie Oonark, and Lazarusie Ishulutak. The stories are based on actual events in the lives of these artists. At the end of the book there is a map showing where the stories take place and a glossary since some Inuktitut words are used in the stories. It is a beautiful book!!
http://houseofanansi.com/collections/imprint-groundwood/products/alego

 Alego by Ningeokuluk Teevee is a bilingual book. The story is written in English and in Inuktitut. The illustrations are simple hand drawn pictures. The story describes as a young girl, Alego, goes to find clams with her grandmother. Alego finds many things along the way. 
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Alego found a tide pool and many various sea animals in it. At the end of the story there is a glossary with the sea animals in English and Inuktitut and an illustration of the animal. The Inuktitut in the glossary is written in both the Inuktitut alphabet as well as the pronunciation in the English alphabet. 
 
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 In the English some of the Inuktitut pronunciation for the animals and a couple of words are used instead of the English words, however the English word is also used so the reader knows what is being talked about. 

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 As her grandmother found clams, Alego collected various treasures in her own bucket. Her grandmother enjoyed seeing what Alego had found even if it was not clams. It is a lovely story about a day in a young Inuit child's life. This type of story teaches so much about the life of this amazing culture. 

For more about the Inuit and where they live check out West Coast Wild, Naya's Arctic AdventuresAround the World in 12 Dishes: Canada, Winter Solstice, and  P'esk'a and the First Salmon Ceremony.