This Canadian import recounts a winter afternoon of an Inuit boy named Jake and his sled dog puppy, Kamik.
A companion to Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story, by Donald Uluadluak and illustrated by Leng (2013), this story is based on the recollections of Sulurayok, an Inuit elder from Nunavut. In the book, Jake and his puppy are staying with his grandmother in her house. She encourages Jake in his training of Kamik and sends the pair out onto the snowy tundra to practice with a simple sealskin sled. The fairly lengthy story describes their training session and their trip back home during a sudden blizzard. Soft-focus watercolor-and-pencil illustrations capture the antics of the dog and his young master as well as the drama of the ride through the swirling blizzard. The story places readers directly into the setting and the plot, with no concessions to non-Inuit audiences, such as a map, glossary, or pronunciation guide. A few words are not defined by context, such as bannock (a type of bread) and Inuktitut (an Inuit language), and other words are difficult for non-native speakers to pronounce without guidance, such as the grandmother’s name, Anaanatsiaq, and Tuhaaji, the dog’s Inuktitut name.
An exciting tale of boy-and-puppy bonding for Inuit children, this story is also accessible to non-Inuit readers willing to meet Kamik and Jake out on the tundra. (Picture book. 4-9)