A picture-book introduction to traditional Inuit naming practices and Inuit custom adoption.
Ample front- and backmatter supplements the main narrative and includes: an introduction by an Inuit woman who is the biological mother of the child, Niviaq or Nivi, whose story is fictionalized in the main text; a glossary of Inuit vocabulary; an explanation of Inuit kinship and naming customs; brief biographical notes about Nivi’s namesakes as well as about the author (her adoptive mother) and illustrator; and acknowledgements from the author. The main narrative text recounts a conversation between the eponymous Inuit character, whose full name is Niviaq Kauki Baabi Irmela Jamesie, and her adoptive white mother, who became her parent through Inuit custom adoption. In this tradition, the child maintains connection with her birth family. Her five given names connect her to both her adoptive and birth families, and the loving conversation she has with her mother illuminates the stories and people behind each one. Illustrations with a gentle cartoon aesthetic include lots of family photographs throughout Nivi’s home, depicting her white Nova Scotian and English ancestors and her Inuit ancestors, as well. Text emphasizes how Nivi connects them all, living and deceased, and words and pictures emphasize the pride she takes in her names, her heritage, and her extended family.
An affirming book for readers of Inuit heritage and a window into their world for outsiders. (Picture book. 4-8)