Monday, January 30, 2012

Kayuktuk An Arctic Quest by Brian Heinz

Author, Brian Heinz, and illustrator, Jon Van Zyle have produced a stunning book which gives a glimpse into the lives and native traditions of the Inupiat people who live in the Northern Alaskan Arctic. The main character, Aknik, is not allowed to be among the men of the village when they hunt agvik, the bowhead whale, because he fails to bring back meat from his carefully constructed snares and has to face the taunts of the other village boys. There is something stealing his bait and he is advised by the Sharman to discover the identity of the ghostly thief. So Aknik sets off alone one night to track down the offender. The illustrations which are acrylic on masonite board portray the starkness of life on the tundra and the warmth of the Inupiat. Beige end papers and the boarders with the sepia drawings give the book an antique feel. At the back of the book there is a note from the author giving brief background Inupiat people and also a glossary of the Inupiat words which are sprinkled throughout the text. This book could easily be read in a Silent Reading session. To see other books illustrated by Jon Van Zyle click on the link below:

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