From the Publisher
“Steltzer's text, photographs, and subject compel the imagination.” Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating, accessible, and respectful glimpse at traditional art.” The Horn Book
“This book has simple power and great child appeal.... Photos and text work together beautifully to capture the essence of the story: the father and son are at peace with their environment, have come to know its beauty, and will pass on their knowledge from one generation of Inuit to the next.” Booklist, starred review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Armed with a camera and a keen eye, Steltzer went hunting in the Northern Arctic and captured on film a father-and-son team engaged in the ancient and fascinating Inuit art of igloo building. Each turn of the page reveals another step in the process, from pacing off a circle to the secret of the sturdy design (the blocks of snow are placed in an ascending spiral) as well as the finishing touches-such amenities as a window made of ocean ice and a "porch" for storage space. The crisp lines of snow and shadow are enhanced rather than diminished by Steltzer's medium (black-and-white photography); linked with the lean but informative prose, the end result is dramatic in its simplicity. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
This is a very simple book that should have kids out in the yard looking for the right kind of snow. We watch as a father and son from the Canadian Arctic turn a flat plain of snow into a warm, snug place to sleep until it's time to go hunting. Steltzer also took the intriguing black-and-white photos of the igloo building. In an introduction, he notes that while the Inuit live in regular houses today, they still use the igloo when they travel. 1999 (orig.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
The association is fairly strong: mention Alaska and kids will respond with either "Eskimo" or "igloo". Give them some solid mental images, not to be forgotten. Stunning black and white photographs capture the icy steps of igloo construction. The text is brief and includes a story as well as explanations to accompany the building of the snow house.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A curious book with interesting black-and-white photographs, but little explanation of igloo construction, appearing here 14 years after its publication in Canada. The text states, regarding choice of ice from the ocean for a windowpane, ``it gives much light to the inside, a strange blue-green light like that surrounding a swimmer under water.'' The black-and-white photos lose that and the sense of ``whiteness'' that makes Arctic regions so vivid. Bonnie Shemie's Houses of Snow, Skin and Bones (Tundra, 1989) does a much more thorough job of describing the construction of and living in snow houses, but has fewer illustrations. Charlotte and David Yue's The Igloo (Houghton, 1988) is more in-depth for a slightly older audience. All three titles emphasize that most Inuit no longer live in igloos but use the structure only while hunting or for winter survival. Building an Igloo could be used in concert with the other two but, alone, it is a vague nonfiction picture book that could best be used in collections focusing on the Arctic region.-Mollie Bynum, formerly at Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK