Dance on a Sealskin

Dance on a Sealskin

by Barbara Winslow, Teri Sloat
     
 

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In today’s Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo communities, the villagers still gather in the kashim to sing, drum, and dance, carrying forward their forebears’ traditions. DANCE ON A SEALSKIN is the heartwarming story of Annie’s “first dance,” a coming-of-age ceremony that signifies a young person’s official entry into the Eskimo… See more details below

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Overview

In today’s Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo communities, the villagers still gather in the kashim to sing, drum, and dance, carrying forward their forebears’ traditions. DANCE ON A SEALSKIN is the heartwarming story of Annie’s “first dance,” a coming-of-age ceremony that signifies a young person’s official entry into the Eskimo community.
As northern lights dance above Annie with the spirit of her recently departed grandmother, she prepares to honor the living and the dead in her first dance at potlatch. Inside the kashim, she listens to the drums and songs of the others. Soon, when Annie’s father places a silvery sealskin at her feet, it is her turn to dance out a story for family and friends.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Barbara Winslow’s writing creates a magical air while the authentic color and detail of Teri Sloat’s illustrations bring the Yup'ik potlatch alive for young readers. DANCE ON A SEALSKIN is entertaining while also teaching children something of the Yup'ik culture—of the significant role dancing plays as a means of conveying stories to the next generation, and of the importance of family and community. . . ."—Peninsula Clarion (Kenai, Alaska)
School Library Journal
(Gr 2-6) --A story that captures the importance of dance as an active expression of the Yupik Eskimo culture, and the significance of passing on traditions from one generation to the next. Annie is nervous, for she is about to perform her ``first dance,'' a coming-of-age rite. The richly descriptive written images simply but insightfully reflect the importance of village traditions and strong family connections, and graphically portray Annie's worry and pride as she prepares for and performs her dance. The pencil and watercolor illustrations fill various parts of each single-and double-page spread, leaving plenty of white space for the clearly readable, well-spaced text. Authentically drawn colorful qaspeqs, fur parkies, seal-skin mukluks, grass and wooden dance fans, walrus-skin drums, and Annie's fur headdress and wolverine belt realistically depict the Native clothing and dance regalia. The northern lights reaching down to earth to carry Grandmother off to be with her ancestors create a visual representation of the spiritual world. This book, like the songs and dances performed at a potlatch to convey oral history, combines powerful writing and vivid illustrations to capture the joy of giving and sharing among the Yupik Eskimos. --Roz Goodman, Bering Strait School District Media Center, Unalakleet, AK

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781941821800
Publisher:
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company
Publication date:
07/15/2015
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.30(d)

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