Kirkus Reviews QR Code
AKPA'S JOURNEY by Mia Pelletier


by Mia Pelletier ; illustrated by Kagan McLeod

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-77227-429-5
Publisher: Inhabit Media

The amazing migration of a murre chick, hatched in the Arctic and combining swimming and flying for a journey unique in the bird world.

Nesting high on cliffs that tower above the sea, murres gather in the thousands, nesting pairs taking turns guarding the egg from predators and keeping it warm and then feeding the chick once hatched. The book follows the titular chick as he grows through late summer. On a night with a full moon, the fathers and chicks leap off the cliffs into the sea. The young birds cannot yet fly and will start their migrations by swimming with their fathers. Along the route, Akpa grows stronger, learns important skills, and meets a narwhal, a walrus, and a seal, all of whom give him advice that comes in handy several weeks later when it’s at last time for Akpa to take to the skies to finish his journey. This relatively unknown migration will fascinate readers who are mature enough to sit through the rather lengthy text, and the language will captivate: Winter would soon be “slowly stitching the waves together with ice.” “Fish darted like silver needles sewing a silky blue gown.” The blockiness of the cliffs lends a nice visual texture to the slightly stylized artwork, especially against the blues of the sky and sea. Dialogue uses italicized text rather than quotation marks, and the endnote contains additional vital information. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Readers will not want to miss this migration story.

(range map, glossary of Inuktut words) (Informational picture book. 5-10)