An Inuit boy begins to understand his puppy with the help of his grandfather, an experienced sled-dog owner.
Jake is a boisterous, impatient little boy who is unsuccessfully trying to train his first puppy, who is just as ebullient and unruly as his owner. Jake brings his dog, Kamik, to his grandfather’s house, where the older man’s gentle, introspective stories about his own years of dog training help Jake to see his puppy in a new way. Jake’s grandfather shows his grandson that quiet bonding with the dog will help more than yelling or pulling at the dog. The grandfather speaks in a gentle, understated tone that is echoed in the softly shaded pen-and-ink illustrations and gray text in a type that evokes hand-printing. The sensitively told story is adapted from the recollections of an Inuit elder from the Canadian province of Nunavut, where the book was first published. For the U.S. market, readers would have appreciated an author’s note, a map showing the location and a pronunciation guide for the Inuit names and terms included in the text. (For example, Grandfather’s name is Ataatasiaq.)
An intriguing, positive glimpse into Inuit traditional culture. (Picture book. 4-9)