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THE SNOW BABY by Katherine Kirkpatrick


The Arctic Childhood of Admiral Robert E. Peary’s Daring Daughter

by Katherine Kirkpatrick

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2007
ISBN: 0-8234-1973-8
Publisher: Holiday House

Kirkpatrick casts an unusual sidelight on the exploits of Peary and Henson with this profile of Peary’s daughter Marie, who was born in 1893 in a two-room house in northern Greenland, and spent large portions of her youth north of the Arctic Circle. In the sparely written chronicle of her travels and in the healthy suite of accompanying photos, she comes across as a lively sort, as comfortable at sea or on the ice as in her well-to-do grandparents’ household or the Peary’s idyllic Maine island retreat. The photos are atmospherically tinted to look like platinum prints and are about equally divided between shots of Marie in refined city dress and in heavy furs. The author leaves a few questions unanswered—readers will have to look elsewhere for the significance of Marie’s middle name, “Ahnighito,” for instance. Further, she covers the last six decades of her life as a memoirist and children’s author in a few sentences. Still, Kirkpatrick is frank enough to mention Marie’s half-Inuit siblings, introduces a circle of colorful friends and associates and conveys some sense of what it was like to grow up with a famous, but often absent, father. (index, source notes) (Biography. 11-13)