A purposeful but nonetheless evocative glimpse of rural Inuit life inspired by memories of egg gathering in the author’s...

READ REVIEW

WILD EGGS

A TALE OF ARCTIC EGG COLLECTING

What young Akuluk expects to be a dull visit with her grandparents in Nunavut turns out to be an immersive experience in Piusuituqait, or “the traditional ways.”

Hardly has she stepped off the plane from Yellowknife than Akuluk’s mood changes from regret to delight at seeing big Arctic hares by the roadside on the way to a warm welcome from her Anaana and Ataata. Next morning, dressed in a new atigi (fur parka), she ventures out with both to ride an ATV over rolling hills of aqpiit (cloudberries) to the sea. There, following her grandpa’s instructions, she helps to select and gather eggs of mitiq (eider ducks) from a nesting site. Then on her return she finds on her chair an amauti, a woman’s parka with a pouch for carrying babies (or, in her case, her stuffed polar bear Piulua), and falls asleep to dream of speckled eggs and future visits. Wright’s soft-focus illustrations usually center on the round, smiling faces of Akuluk and her family, but background details of dress and the subarctic landscape add atmospheric notes to the episode. The Inuktitut words threaded through the narrative are defined both in context and in more detail at the end. Its focus on an Inuit protagonist who lives south of the tundra and has relatives in Montréal is a valuable reminder to all readers that indigenous peoples are not confined to their traditional territories.

A purposeful but nonetheless evocative glimpse of rural Inuit life inspired by memories of egg gathering in the author’s youth. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-7722-7025-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Inhabit Media

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends

WAITING IS NOT EASY!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Gerald the elephant learns a truth familiar to every preschooler—heck, every human: “Waiting is not easy!”

When Piggie cartwheels up to Gerald announcing that she has a surprise for him, Gerald is less than pleased to learn that the “surprise is a surprise.” Gerald pumps Piggie for information (it’s big, it’s pretty, and they can share it), but Piggie holds fast on this basic principle: Gerald will have to wait. Gerald lets out an almighty “GROAN!” Variations on this basic exchange occur throughout the day; Gerald pleads, Piggie insists they must wait; Gerald groans. As the day turns to twilight (signaled by the backgrounds that darken from mauve to gray to charcoal), Gerald gets grumpy. “WE HAVE WASTED THE WHOLE DAY!…And for WHAT!?” Piggie then gestures up to the Milky Way, which an awed Gerald acknowledges “was worth the wait.” Willems relies even more than usual on the slightest of changes in posture, layout and typography, as two waiting figures can’t help but be pretty static. At one point, Piggie assumes the lotus position, infuriating Gerald. Most amusingly, Gerald’s elephantine groans assume weighty physicality in spread-filling speech bubbles that knock Piggie to the ground. And the spectacular, photo-collaged images of the Milky Way that dwarf the two friends makes it clear that it was indeed worth the wait.

A lesson that never grows old, enacted with verve by two favorite friends . (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9957-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Everything that readers have come to love about the Elephant & Piggie books is present—masterful pacing, easy-to-follow,...

MY NEW FRIEND IS SO FUN!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Can Gerald and Piggie’s friendship withstand the friendly overtures of Brian Bat?

When Snake informs Gerald that Piggie is playing with Brian Bat, he is at first complacent. Brian is “nice,” he observes; Snake concurs—after all, he says, “Brian is my Best Friend!” Their mutual reflection that Piggie and Brian “must be having a super-duper fun time!” turns, however, to paranoia when they realize that if their best pals “are having that much fun together, then… / …maybe they do not need us” (that last is printed in teeny-tiny, utterly demoralized type). Gerald and Snake dash/slither to put an end to the fun. Their fears are confirmed when the two new buddies tell them they have “been playing BEST FRIEND GAMES!”—which, it turns out, means making drawings of their respective best friends, Gerald and Snake. Awww. While the buildup to the friends’ confrontation is characteristically funny, there’s a certain feeling of anticlimax to the story’s resolution. How many young children, when playing with a new friend, are likely to spend their time thinking of the friends that they are not playing with? This is unfortunate, as the emotions that Gerald and Snake experience are realistic and profound, deserving of more than a platitudinous, unrealistic response.

Everything that readers have come to love about the Elephant & Piggie books is present—masterful pacing, easy-to-follow, color-coded speech bubbles, hilarious body language—except an emotionally satisfying ending. (Early reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7958-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more