Mermaids prove more of a danger to an Inuit hunter than wild storms and spirits.
Following a roaring storm raised by a seal that turns out to be the grandson of a powerful angakkuq (shaman), Kiviuq finds himself lost and alone in his hide in his qajaq (kayak) among floating ice and barren islands. There he is repeatedly attacked by a strong and malign tuutalik (mermaid)—who goes off and summons her sisters after he whacks her with his unaaq (harpoon). In Gas’ dim, realistically drawn Arctic illustrations, the mermaids—not at all the Disney sort but grinning, fishtailed creatures with long spiky black nails and mouths full of sharklike teeth—chase Kiviuq in a rage as he desperately paddles his qajaq toward the nearest land. That night he falls into an anything but restful sleep in the wake of his narrow escape. “What do you think he dreamt about?” closes the narrator, tantalizingly. Readers too may have trouble settling down after encountering such thrillingly hideous denizens of the sea in this retold legend.
A breathless escapade featuring battles against both monsters and the elements. (glossary) (Picture book/folk tale. 7-9)