My Arctic 1, 2, 3

by Michael A. Kusugak, Vladyana Krykorka,
24 pages,
ISBN: 1550375040

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Children`s Books
by Marla Lupfer

Kusugak and Krykorka are part of a small circle of children's writers who are skilfully introducing the stories and histories of Native cultures to children of all ages. The first part of My Arctic 1, 2, 3 teaches counting by enumerating animals and illustrating the Inuit way of life, complete with Inuktituk names. Then comes a short story called The Arctic World of Michael Kusugak and His Family. Michael and his two boys go out on the land near their home, where "there are no trees, no highways, and no fences. There are no farms. And there are no zoos. But there are many animals." As he talks about them he uses their Inuktituk names, then writes them phonetically for the reader. (I wish that Kusugak had done this for the counting part of the book, too.)

Michael explains that the people now use four-wheel-drive vehicles and snowmobiles rather than the transport of long ago. He points out that Inuit history and cultures are very old, yet little is known about them. The book ends with a useful glossary.

Krykorka's watercolours beautifully illustrate the book. She surrounds the animals with a rich Arctic environment that is far from the barren wasteland it is commonly believed to be. Children, from the very young up to beginning readers, can enjoy and learn from this book. l


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