CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 8 . . . . December 7, 2007
We learn about other cultures from their stories, their history, and their life styles. The introduction, "The Inuit, My People," gives a brief history of Inuit immigration and migration as they adapted to the changes in the Arctic climate. Most double spread pages feature one aspect of how the Inuit have adapted. For instance, sections on dog sleds, kayaks, medicine and healing, and shelter are liberally sprinkled with appropriate photos. Each topic has a brief introductory paragraph followed by clearly and concisely written segments under subheadings. The icy blue background on the pages reinforce the cold Arctic setting of the book while the Inuit language symbols emphasize the multicultural ambiance.
In addition, a timeline and several maps add important information. Inuit words are italicized and well explained with the written segment. Furthermore, the plural of the word is often given in brackets. Another useful addition, such as in the section on clothing, gives details of how the Inuit parka has been adapted for the modern public. The final two pages tell about the Inuit today and how they combine traditions and modern innovations:
This 32 page book is chock-a-block full of interesting information and pictures. Written in an upbeat and positive style, it will appeal to children and social studies teachers alike. The only slight omission I found is that it does not directly address the impact civilization, such as disease and global warming, has had on these hardy folks.
Archival photos, a timeline, recent coloured photos, Table of Contents, an Index, Credits, Further reading, and chart of Inuit language symbols make this a valuable resource. Several books reviewed by CM, such as Arctic Adventures: Tales from the Lives of Inuit Artists and Canada's Arctic Animals would make useful adjuncts.
Marilynne V. Black is a former B.C. elementary teacher-librarian who completed her Master of Arts in Children's Literature (UBC) in the spring of 2005. She is now working as an independent children's literature consultant with a web site at www.heartofthestory.ca.
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