Children's LiteraturePart of the "Native Nations of North America" series, this volume introduces young readers to the culture of the Inupiat and Inuit people of Canada's and Alaska's Far North. In the beginning of the first chapter, the authors explain that these people used to be called Eskimos, but now prefer to be called Inupiat and Inuit. A simple map shows the Inupiat living in northwest Alaska, while the Inuit seem to inhabit most of northern Canada. There is no written explanation of their separate regions and most of the text does not differentiate between the two groups. Fourteen very brief chapters present information on: geography, family structure, gender roles, material culture, hunting and fishing, transportation, shelters, arts, entertainment, European contacts, and modem life. All chapters, with the exception of the last, deal with traditional Inupiat and Inuit culture. Each chapter consists of a two-page spread enlivened by many color drawings, a few color photos, and related sidebars. There is no bibliography. Most of the information seems fairly accurate, but its brief format and wide subject matter results in some oversimplification and overgeneralization that might be confusing. The book's visual appeal and inexpensive price might still make it worthwhile. A map, index, glossary, and Internet sites list are included. 2004, Crabtree Publishing, and Ages 8 to 12.
Gisela Jernigan, Ph.D.