Arctic Son

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In this stunning tribute to the Arctic and its inhabitants by the celebrated author of "Julie of the Wolves, " the warmth of the Inupiat Eskimo culture shines through. Full color.

A baby boy is given an Inupiat name to go with his English one and grows up learning the traditional ways of the Eskimo people living in the Arctic.

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Overview

In this stunning tribute to the Arctic and its inhabitants by the celebrated author of "Julie of the Wolves, " the warmth of the Inupiat Eskimo culture shines through. Full color.

A baby boy is given an Inupiat name to go with his English one and grows up learning the traditional ways of the Eskimo people living in the Arctic.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Newbery Medalist George (Julie of the Wolves)with Aalak, an Inupiat Eskimo as guidetakes young nature-lovers on a tour of the North in this picture-book ode to the Arctic. When Luke is born in a small Arctic town, the village leader, Aalak, gives him an Eskimo name, that of Aalak's own father, Kupaaq. With this special bond ("Hello, Papa", says Aalak), Aalak introduces little Kupaaq to his Arctic landscape and Inupiat Eskimo customs: the winter night with stars like "enormous bonfires" ("That is Kinuyakkii. Some call this brightness the northern lights. You and I live where the lights are born"); a sigluaq, a pit 20 feet in the frozen ground ("my Eskimo refrigerator") where Aalak keeps his catch from an ice-fishing trip; and a Nalukataq, the celebration after a whale hunt. George's text, abundant with vital experiences and detailed descriptions of daily life, is fodder for Minor's (Everglades) watercolors, luminous as the northern lights, that bring the Arctic's palate to life. His paintings range from a double-page blue vault of stars over simple wood-frame homes with a polar bear muzzle forging into the foreground; to children mushing one-dog sleds against a pink dusk horizon line; to little Kupaaq airbound in the Nalukataq blanket toss. George and Minor's invitation to the Arctic's extreme climate and extraordinary wildlife make this a trip well worth taking. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Children will be surprised by some of the points of view in this picture book. It's based on the author's grandson, Luke, who lives in an Inupiat village in Alaska. Luke, who is given the Eskimo name Kupaaq, experiences harsh conditions as a way of life. He learns that a snow cave is a "cozy and warm" place to nap, that 24-hour sunshine means you can play as long as you like, and that whales offer sustenance to the Inupiat people. George stretches things a bit when she says the sun doesn't rise in the winter or set in the summer; it does both those things, eventually, in each season. Illustrator Minor's watercolors capture both traditional and modern ways of life: dogsleds and school buses, trick-or-treating and the whaling festival. The author and illustrator have created a respectful portrayal of Alaska Native life.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Love of place is the focus of Jean Craighead George's Arctic Son. Born in the Arctic, baby Luke receives an Eskimo name, Kupaaq, as well as an English one and is introduced to the beauties of his stark home by Eskimo friends. Through the engaging narrative, which emphasizes respect for the natural world, young readers can learn about the northern lights, fishing traditions, snow caves and the ancient song that welcomes the sun after the dark winter. Wendell Minor's paintings capture the subtle color and details of this landscape where "things are very different."
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--In story format, George chronicles the birth and early years of her grandson Luke, who lives with his parents in Barrow, Alaska. Luke is befriended by an Inupiat man, Aalak, who gives the child his "Eskimo" name, Kupaaq, in memory of his dead father. The text explains that "in the Arctic, where Kupaaq was born, things are very different," e.g., between May and August, the sun never sets while from November to January, it never rises. The story skips from the boy's naming as an infant to when he is three and observes the Northern Lights with Aalak, and then to age five when the polar bears come into town, and, finally, at age six, a trip to a traditional whaling camp. Minor's illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful. The ivory mask carving on every other page connects the story with Inupiat culture. The text and illustrations create impressions of the seasons of the Arctic as seen through the eyes of a Caucasian child, one who has been deeply influenced by firsthand involvement with the rich Native culture. The full-page artwork beautifully captures the local wildlife and terrain; it is deftly executed predominately in shades of white and icy blue. In comparison, Virginia Kroll's The Seasons and Someone (Harcourt, 1994) describes the Arctic seasons through an Eskimo girl's perspective. While George's writing is a bit choppy and there is no pronunciation guide for the Inupiat words. A warm, positive story of life in the Far North.--Mollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786822553
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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