A Caribou Journey

Overview

An imposing line of caribou stretches for miles across the frozen tundra of Alaska. The sound of clicking hooves echoes through the air as the herd follows its centuries-old migration route. With their thick coats and their padded, shovel-like hooves, caribou are ideally adapted to their snowbound environment, and this lively children's book explores their habits and habitat—as well as the dangers that await the young and old—along this ancient trail. Writer Debbie Miller and artist Jon Van Zyle are keen ...

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Overview

An imposing line of caribou stretches for miles across the frozen tundra of Alaska. The sound of clicking hooves echoes through the air as the herd follows its centuries-old migration route. With their thick coats and their padded, shovel-like hooves, caribou are ideally adapted to their snowbound environment, and this lively children's book explores their habits and habitat—as well as the dangers that await the young and old—along this ancient trail. Writer Debbie Miller and artist Jon Van Zyle are keen naturalists and the premier duo in Alaska children's literature, and this beautifully-illustrated appreciation of the caribou brings this stately mammal alluringly to life.

Surveys the migrations, habits, and habitat of a herd of caribou in Alaska.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

"Miller provides information in the text that goes well beyond the picturesque. . .The oil paintings provide background vistas that will give the book appeal for very young nature enthusiasts."—Booklist

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
The great migration of the caribou is detailed in this book, accompanied by lovingly crafted acrylic paintings. The text focuses on one female (or "cow") and her offspring, following them on their journey through the arctic. Lots of information is conveyed within the context of the story, making this an enjoyable way to learn about life on the tundra.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-A detailed, richly illustrated title. Miller is a natural storyteller and expertly interweaves facts into her narrative. Van Zyle's dramatic paintings that flow across each double-page spread are created with acrylics painted on untempered masonite panels, and vividly portray seasonal changes in the land and life cycle of the caribou. Both the words and pictures breathe life into the images of a cold and windy Arctic winter, the scraping sound of the animals pawing for food beneath the snow, the crackling of the ice, bulls fighting for mates, and numerous other behaviors. Because the text is superimposed over the illustrations some pages are a bit difficult to read, but well worth the effort for every word is carefully chosen to re-create the sights and sounds of the caribou's environment. An exceptional source of information and an outstanding picture book.-Roz Goodman, Bering Strait School District Media Center, Unalakleet, AK
Mary Harris Veeder
Although the picture book format and the focus on one caribou mother and her calf on the Alaskan tundra make this seem to be only a "storybook," Miller provides information in the text that goes well beyond the picturesque. For example, an illustration showing the caribou mother jumping in alarm is accompanied by text explaining the concurrent release of a strong scent from the animal's hoof glands--the literal "smell of danger." The oil paintings provide background vistas that will give the book appeal for very young nature enthusiasts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602230972
  • Publisher: University of Alaska Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,370,005
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie S. Miller is the author of several picture books including A Woolly Mammoth Journey, A Caribou Journey, and A Polar Bear Journey, one of Booklist's Top Ten Animal Books for Youth.

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