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NUTIK AND AMAROQ PLAY BALL by Jean Craighead George


by Jean Craighead George & illustrated by Ted Rand

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: June 30th, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028166-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

Amaroq, the boy, is named for a great wolf leader; the wolf pup, Nutik, is like his brother, characters drawn from Julie’s Wolf Pack (1997) and first introduced for younger readers in Nutik, the Wolf Pup (2001). Amaroq is Eskimo and he lives on the tundra, but he and Nutik want to toss around a football, even if the afternoon goes on all night in the Arctic summer. But the Kuklook boys have taken the football, so at Nutik’s urging, they go out to explore. They pass the hangar where Amaroq’s father keeps his plane, pass the sealskin boat, and pass the fish-drying racks, until Amaroq can no longer see his village. Nutik leads him to an abandoned oil barrel and chivvies him until he reaches inside to find his pilfered ball. They play and skip lunch, and Amaroq still worries about finding his way back. But remembering that the wolf had found the ball, he lets him lead the way home to a late dinner. The language is as crisp and clear as the Arctic day, making universal appeal out of this exotic locale. Rand’s pictures combine glorious color with lively characterization of both the boy and the puppy-like wolfling. (Picture book. 5-9)