It's almost time for supper, and Alego goes with her grandmother to the shore to collect clams. Along the way, the girl discovers tide pools brimming with life — a bright orange starfish, a creepy crawly ugjurnaq, sea snails, and a sculpin. A rising star of the famed Cape Breton Inuit art scene, author and illustrator Ningeokuluk Teevee draws on her own childhood experiences in the Arctic for this enchanting introduction to the life of an Inuit girl and her world. Printed in both Inuktitut and English, the book ...
It's almost time for supper, and Alego goes with her grandmother to the shore to collect clams. Along the way, the girl discovers tide pools brimming with life — a bright orange starfish, a creepy crawly ugjurnaq, sea snails, and a sculpin. A rising star of the famed Cape Breton Inuit art scene, author and illustrator Ningeokuluk Teevee draws on her own childhood experiences in the Arctic for this enchanting introduction to the life of an Inuit girl and her world. Printed in both Inuktitut and English, the book includes an illustrated glossary of the sea creatures in the story as well as a map of Baffin Island.
- Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One day young Alego's grandmother takes her clam digging for the first time near her home in Cape Dorset, Canada. They dig around a hole in the sand. When they see a "foot," they must pull it out. As she digs, Alego is squirted by a clam. Then she walks along the shore, discovering many other sea creatures. When she returns to her grandmother who has a pot full of clams, Alego displays the other creatures she has found. When they get home, they enjoy with grandfather a delicious feast of clams and hot tea. The map on the end pages locates Cape Dorset and the area around Greater Baffin Island where Alego's clamming takes place. Textured graphite and colored pencil drawings provide images of the village and the seashore. Each full-page illustration shows aspects of Alego's hunt and her expressions as she has new experiences. The facing pages contain both the very simple English text and the Inuktitut text with its own graphic attraction. There is a picture glossary of the sea creatures Alego finds as well. This is an introduction to a different language and culture told from the point of view of a young girl. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This quiet bilingual (English and Inuktitut) story is set on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. An Inuit girl joins her grandmother on a clam-digging expedition. As they leave their small village and walk along the shore, Alego encounters many strange creatures, some resembling small sea monsters. Just like the main character in Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal (Viking, 1948), Alego doesn't end up with many clams in her pail, but the story concludes with a delicious and hearty meal nevertheless. The unadorned text is suited to the primitive and childlike pictures, which are done in soft colors with graphite and colored pencil. The book's very simplicity carries its own low-key charm. While the story won't have mass appeal, it will be appreciated in communities with an interest in Inuit culture.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
While her grandmother gathers clams, an Inuit child combs a nearby stretch of Baffin Island beach, finding kinquit (sea lice), an orange aggaujaq (starfish) and other treasures to put in her basket. Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, artist Teevee illustrates the outing in a naive style that reflects its simplicity, using colored pencils to fill in the simply drawn forms and placing her figures in an open, rocky setting alongside wide expanses of blue sky and calm sea. The brief text in the Inuktitut language and alphabet sits atop an English translation that is sprinkled with musical words from the original-defined both in context and in a later glossary. The endpapers provide a map of Baffin Island and its surroundings, with an inset to locate it on a map of North America; all place names are indicated in Inuktitut script and Roman transliterations, with English alternative names where appropriate. Closing with a cozy feast of clams and hot tea, this is less a culturally specific episode than a harmonious, universally recognizable shared time between a child and her affectionate grandparents. (Picture book. 6-8)