Immi's Gift

Overview

Way, way up north in a snow-covered frozen world, a young girl breaks a hole in the ice and fishes for her supper. But instead of a fish, at the end of the line is a small, brightly painted wooden bird. She ties it onto her necklace, next to a small wooden bear. Day after day her fishing pole brings up more colorful surprises from the swirling sea under the frozen ice. She decorates her igloo with the beautiful treasures, and animals come from far and wide to visit with her and share stories of faraway lands. ...

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Overview

Way, way up north in a snow-covered frozen world, a young girl breaks a hole in the ice and fishes for her supper. But instead of a fish, at the end of the line is a small, brightly painted wooden bird. She ties it onto her necklace, next to a small wooden bear. Day after day her fishing pole brings up more colorful surprises from the swirling sea under the frozen ice. She decorates her igloo with the beautiful treasures, and animals come from far and wide to visit with her and share stories of faraway lands. When it is time to move on, she visits the fishing hole one more time and drops the little bear from her necklace into the water. Faraway, a young boy walks along a beach in the hot, hot sun. He throws a colorful object into the water. Then something catches his eye. There washed up on the beach is a small wooden bear...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A fur-clad Inuit girl searches for the brightest objects she can find in a "frozen white world," rendered in smudgy watercolor and gouache with colored pencil detailing. Ice fishing, she finds a painted wooden bird, followed by an orange starfish, a green leaf, and a purple feather, which she uses to adorn her igloo. The decorations bring visitors "from far and wide" (gentle polar bears, a walrus, rabbit, and wild dogs), who share "stories of faraway lands," as a blizzard swirls outside. When the snow starts to melt, Immi drops the bear from her necklace into the water, and on the final spread a boy on a tropical beach finds it in the sand. With shades of David Wiesner's Flotsam and Suzy Lee's Wave, it's a story with a quiet magic and beauty. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jamie Hain
Immi lives in a white snow-filled world isolated from everyone else. One day while Immi is fishing, she pulls in her line and finds not a fish, but a bright-colored wooden bird on the end of her fishing pole. She takes the bird home to decorate her igloo. Soon Immi is pulling out more beautiful bright-colorful things from her ice fishing hole, and Immi's igloo is no longer one more lump of white ice, but a bright and colorful beacon welcoming others. Immi's winter goes from one spent in isolation to one full of friends. When the warm weather comes and Immi must move before her snowy house melts away, she drops a gift of her own into the fishing hole, giving back to the ocean and to the unknown person who has given her so many gifts, including gifts she cannot hold in her hand like friendship and joy. This heart-warming story about how one person's happiness can blossom out of the simple act of selfless giving would be a wonderful addition to any library serving young children or to the home library, where parents can read it to their children. Reviewer: Jamie Hain
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—When Immi, an Inuit child, goes ice fishing, she is surrounded by a world of white. Hoping to catch just one more fish, instead she pulls up a brightly colored wooden bird, its vivid appearance in sharp contrast to the ice and snow swirling around her. She adds it to her necklace, next to a small white bear. On the days that follow, she fishes out other brightly colored objects and hangs them in her igloo until it is awash in color. Various polar animals are attracted, and Immi snuggles with them while they share stories of faraway lands. When the snow begins to melt, Immi departs, but before she goes she throws her small white bear into the ice-fishing hole. It is later retrieved from tropical waters by the boy who has been tossing his brightly colored creatures into the waves. The painterly illustrations done in colored pencil, watercolor, and gouache capture Immi's frozen world, and her little flight of fancy seems logical escapism for anyone living even briefly in such isolated and lonely circumstances. This might be a jumping-off point to discuss how the imagination can provide relief and comfort, but it's an additional purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Immi is alone in her icy, white world. But while fishing one day, the young Inuit finds a trinket at the end of her pole. New treasures begin to arrive—an orange starfish, a green leaf, a purple feather. Soon her colorfully decorated igloo attracts visitors, and her life is filled with conviviality and cheer. When the snow melts, Immi must move on, but first she drops her own cherished charm into the sea for another to find. As in David Wiesner's Caldecott-winning Flotsam, the ocean presents gifts, both physical and memorable, that are then passed on across continents and cultures. Littlewood conveys her affecting story with illustrations done in watercolor, gouache and pencil. Through her compositions, she is able to communicate the scale of the environment, the expansiveness of the snow and the isolation—and later joy—Immi feels. The illustrator's skillful painting and the softness of her expressive pencil work beautifully impart this gentle tale about the power of receiving—and of giving in return. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561458134
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2014

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