A polar bear cub does not like to dive into the water but needs to overcome his fear to help a new friend.
Miki (Inuktitut for “little”) is a cub. His mother wants him to catch a fish in the icy Arctic Ocean, but he would rather play. He scampers up a hill to find a new playmate. In the distance, he sees a red dot. As the dot gets closer, in panels obscured by fuzzy snow, readers can see it is a small Inuit child, with a face as pale as the white surroundings save for pink cheeks, clad in a red parka. But to Miki, it is simply “the Dot.” Miki likes the “gurgling sound” it makes (readers can see from the illustration that it’s laughter) and its “twinkly face.” They run and play. But suddenly the Dot’s mitten goes missing. As Miki goes back to get it, the ice cracks, and the mitten slips into the water. Miki’s heroic rescue works as the triumphant moment it is set up to be. However, the ubiquitous images of the decorative parka with furry hood, playful relationship with an Arctic animal, and “Eskimo kiss” (which thankfully is not called as such, just described as “two cold noses nudg[ing] good-bye”) can carry some pretty weighty stereotypes. At least there is nary an iglu in sight.
Slight in substance storywise and perpetuating too-common representations of Arctic peoples: not ideal. (Picture book. 3-6)