________________ CM . . . . Volume I Number 17 . . . . October 6, 1995

A Sled Dog for Moshi

Jeanne Bushey. Illustrated by Germaine Arnatauyok.
Winnipeg: Hyperion, 1994. 40pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-920534-85-6.

Subject Headings:
Inuit-Canada-Juvenile fiction.
Sled dogs-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool - grade 2 / Ages 4 - 7.
Review by Lorraine Douglas.


When Moshi walked in the back door of her house, she found her father standing in the middle of the kitchen. Melting snow dripped from his sealskin boots, called kamiks, onto the floor. His mittened hand held a pail of frozen fish for the dogs.
"Nuna's gone," her father said angrily. "I went out to feed the dogs, and she wasn't there!"
"Don't worry," Moshi's mother said gently as she held Moshi's youngest brother on her lap. "She'll be back in the morning when she's hungry. You've had dogs get away before."
Her father frowned. "I don't want anything to happen to her. She's my best dog, and her pups will be born soon. Those pups will be worth a lot of money someday."


This contemporary story is set in the remote northern village of Iqaluit on Baffin Island. Jessica, a girl from New York City, has a cute little dog, and her Inuk friend, Moshi, wishes for a pet dog of her own. Nuna, one of Moshi's father's sled dogs, is expecting, and Moshi asks her dad for a puppy. But he explains that the dogs are needed for work and not to learn tricks.


One day Nuna disappears and does not return home. A week later Jessica and Moshi are lost in a sudden whiteout on the tundra. Moshi uses all of her survival skills until Nuna appears and leads them to safety in a storage shed near town. Later Moshi's father relents and agrees that she can have a pup, but Moshi decides that the pup should stay a sled dog.

Written by an American who haS lived in Iqaluit, and illustrated by a native of Igloolik on Baffin Island, this is a nice addition to literature about the North. The delicately drawn full-page illustrations in colour pencil are softly rendered in light tones. They simply portray the characters and are cheerful and appealing. Each page of text has a little top border of sled dogs at work. This design gives an elegant feel to the page. A map of the Northern hemisphere showing Iqaluit and an illustrated glossary add to the value of the book.

A Sled Dog for Moshi is similar to Jan Andrew's Very Last First Tune (Douglas and McIntyre, 1985) in that it portrays a strong heroine using her intelligence to survive.


Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library.

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