Mush!: Across Alaska in the World's Longest Sled Dog Raceby Patricia Seibert, Jan Davey Ellis
Learn about the Iditarod, the world's longest dog-sled race!
Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotBeautiful pencil and watercolor illustrations help tell the story of the Iditarod. Seibert tells the history of the sled dogs and the sleds that were originally built and used by the Inuit, and then adopted by the settlers who came to Alaska. As modern transportation replaced the dogsled, one man, Joe Redington, wanted people to remember the heroic dogs who brought the medicine to Nome in 1925. Thus, the Iditarod was establish in 1973. The text describes the training and some of the difficulties faced by the intrepid racers and their dogs. A good choice for younger readers.
School Library JournalGr 1-4-- A heavily illustrated, easy-to-read explanation of the Iditarod Sled-Dog Race. Through spare text and stylized illustration, basic information is given about the dogs, the history of the race, the environment in which it is run, and some of the rules. (The recent change not to allow mushers to stay in private homes is not included.) The watercolor illustrations are whimsical and give the book charm. Attractive borders add visual interest to some pages; however, the Eskimo sun glasses found in one of them are not identified as such and are apt to cause confusion. The oversimplified text and illustrations mislead readers into thinking that Eskimo cultures are the only ones on the trail, while three-quarters of the race goes through Athapaskan Indian villages. The overall effect of the book, however, is a positive portrayal of an unusual sport. Mush! will be useful in primary-grade classrooms involved in Alaska studies, and for those junior armchair adventurers who long for the romance of the frigid North and the ``Last Great Race.'' --Mollie Bynum, Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
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