The Eye of the Needle

Overview

Sent out by his grandmother to find food, Amik consumes a series of animals of ever-increasing size and brings back more than he thinks.

Sent out by his grandmother to find food, Amik consumes a series of animals of ever-increasing size and brings back more than he thinks.

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Overview

Sent out by his grandmother to find food, Amik consumes a series of animals of ever-increasing size and brings back more than he thinks.

Sent out by his grandmother to find food, Amik consumes a series of animals of ever-increasing size and brings back more than he thinks.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-- In this Yupik tale, little Amik is sent by his grandmother to hunt for food. He is so hungry that he swallows everything he finds, from tiny fish to a huge whale. Replete and ashamed, he returns home only to find he has grown too large to enter the hut, but magic from grandmother's needle releases all the fish and provides food for everyone. This is similar in motif to Jameson's Clay Pot Boy (Coward, 1973; o.p.), but Amik's eating because he is hungry gives a more human motive to the story, while grandmother's magic provides a satisfying, happy ending. Sloat's illustrations, done in a limited range of hues with just a hint of warmth, successfully portray the barren Alaskan landscape without giving it a bleak look. The drawings of Amik are sometimes awkward, but the two-page spread showing only his head and wide open mouth as he swallows the whale is full of ravenous drama. The story is told with a slight formality appropriate to a folktale and is enlivened with the increasing ``Glump, Gulump, Gullummp!'' of Amik's eating spree and the ``swish, whoosh, rumble'' of the sea creatures when they are released. This tall tale, simply told in an oral style, should have wide appeal. --Karen James, Louisville Free Pub . Lib . , KY
From The Critics
The Eye Of The Needle is a retelling of a Yupik tale from the Alaskan northwest, with Teri Sloat engagingly recounting and colorfully illustrating the story of Little Amik, a boy who lived with his grandmother in a tiny sod hut on the shores of the Northern Pacific. In this Native American fairytale, Amik swallows an enormous quantity of sea life (including a whale) along with the ocean waters until he is to large to enter his grandmother's house. Grandmother releases the magic in her sewing needle and all that Amik swallowed comes flowing and tumbling out as he finally learns the importance of sharing. A very highly recommended picturebook for young readers ages 4 and up.
From the Publisher
"An authentic, well-told, satisfying story, handsomely illustrated and produced." —- Kirkus Reviews

"[Sloat's] imaginatively composed pictures make the most of the story's comic possibilities." —- The New York Times Book Review

"Vigorous and accurate drawings animate the folktale and capture the sparse and rugged beauty of this remote arctic location."
                       —- Alaska magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606058285
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Series: Picture Puffin Series
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Writer/Illustrator Teri Sloat met Yupik elder Betty Huffman in the remote Alaska bush, where both were teachers. This children's book prserves an old favorite tale from the culture's rich store of teaching tales. Teri Sloat has written a number of children's illustrated books, young adult novels, and adult history books about the Yukon gold rush.

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