________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 17. . . .January 8, 2010.

cover

Alego.

Ningeokuluk Teevee. Translated by Nina Manning-Toonoo.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi, 2009.
24 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-0-88899-943-6.

Subject Headings:
Inuit-Juvenile fiction.
Marine animals-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Gail de Vos.

**½/4

   

 



excerpt:

Alego saw that there were all kinds of living things in the water –– a creepy-crawly thing with many legs called ugjunnaq and shells in different shapes and sizes, even one shaped like a horn called siupiruq. There were lots of kinguit, too. The kingug is a tiny creature with a protective shell and many small legs. The starfish is called agguaujag, because it looks like a hand.

“It’s time to go back,” called Anaanatsiaq. “Come here and show me your catch.”

Alego could see that Anaanatsiaq’s pot was full of ammuumajuit.

(From the text.):

• Anaanatsiaq (grandmother)

(From the glossary):

• Ammuumajuit (clams)

• Agguaujag (starfish)

• Kingug/ kinguit (sea louse/sea lice)

• Siupiruq (snail)

• Ugjunnaq (creepy-crawly thing with many legs)



For the first time, Alego, a little girl, accompanies her grandmother to the seashore at Kinngait (Cape Dorset), on Baffin Island, where she learns to dig for clams, but she also discovers an array of other sea creatures. While Alego fills her pot with almost everything, her grandmother fills hers with an abundance of ammuumajuit (clams) which provide a succulent feast for grandfather (Ataatatsiaq) and the two clam diggers upon their return home.

     internal artThe childlike and simple illustrations were effectively created in graphite and coloured pencil on paper, earning printmaker TeeVee a place on the shortlist for the Governor General’s 2009 awards for illustration.


     Written in Inuktitut and translated into English by Nina Manning-Toonoo, with both languages very evident on each page, this simple family story was inspired by the author/illustrator's memories of her grandmother and herself digging for clams at low tide. Included at the back is a short glossary with illustrations to help identify the sea creatures mentioned in the story, but unfortunately it does not contain a pronunciation guide. Endpapers contain a pictorial map of Baffin Island.

Highly Recommended.

Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of eight books on storytelling and folklore.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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