On a seaside perambulation, an Inuit lad encounters starfish and seaweed, watches fish and clams being harvested, and looks forward to an annual family gathering at his grandparents’ camp.
Up from his adoptive home in Ottawa for a summer with his biological family in Nunavut (no further explanation is forthcoming), Nukappia sets out from town with his uncle, who provides explanatory lectures as they go. “Seaweed is not only delicious, it’s also used as medicine. It has lots of nutrients and minerals….” The prose doesn’t get any less artificial as the two proceed. Nukappia is “excited to see two of his cousins, whom he hadn’t seen since last summer,” and exclaims, “I didn’t know you could catch clams through a crack in the sea ice!” Still, Hainnu lays in a digestible sequence of locally specific natural and cultural sights before bringing her walkers to their destination (where Nukappia’s “many cousins were spread around the campsite, playing with rocks near the shore”). Then, as in companion outing A Walk on the Tundra (2011), she appends small photos of all the plants, animals, and Inuit artifacts encountered on the fictional nature walk and provides additional scientific notes and observations. These last are more attention-worthy than the infodumps in the story, and the photos are more informative than Leng’s generic, cartoon illustrations.
More stumble than stroll, with a storyline too perfunctory to add any nuance to the instructional content. (Picture book. 7-9)