Sled dogs, caterpillar women and hungry owls: Inhabit Media’s best reads of 2016
Read for a chance to win your own book
Inhabit Media keeps doing what it does best: promoting Nunavummiut authors and Inuit storytelling.
The Iqaluit-based, Inuit-owned publishing house put out a whole new crop of children’s books in 2016; stories to entertain, to inform and to frighten readers.
Here are a few of Nunatsiaq News’ picks. Read through until the end for a chance to win an Inhabit Media book for yourself.
Kamik Joins the Pack
Kamik is growing up and learning to be more obedient. In the third installment of Darryl Baker’s series about a boy named Jake and his beloved dog, Kamik has finally matured enough to join the uncle’s dog sled team for a practice run.
Kamik Joins the Pack carries on the story of Inuit dog sledding, where Jake learns the tradition and discipline he’ll need to one day manage his own dog sled team.
The series of stories are written by Arviat teacher Darryl Baker and illustrated by Qin Leng.
The Caterpillar Woman
Piujuq, like her name suggests, is a beautiful young woman, who enjoys walking and dancing by the lake. One day she meets a stranger, a woman who is cold and asks Piujuq to trade her warm parka.
But once Piujuq puts on the strange woman’s parka, her skin turns green and she turns into a caterpillar woman. She lives like this for a time, until she meets an older man who, despite her looks, asks her to marry him.
Amaruq crafts a drum for his new wife, and as she begins to dance to its beat, Piujuq becomes beautiful once again, while Amaruq becomes a young man again.
In this traditional tale, interpreted by author Nadia Sammurtok, the couple is rewarded for their kindness and unconditional love for each other.
The Owl and the Lemming
In this new Inhabit children’s story, a young lemming emerges from her den after a long winter to find something to eat.
As she’s foraging for her meal, an owl swoops down, anxious to catch the lemming for its own meal.
Frantic to escape, the lemming challenges the owl to a game, using her smarts to trick the hungry bird. The owl learns his own lesson that day about staying focused while out hunting.
This story was written by Iqaluit-based filmmaker Roselynn Akulukjuk, originally from Pangnirtung. The book was illustrated by Amanda Sandland.
Those That Cause Fear
Beware of Arctic monsters, giant fish and sleeping giants!
These are just some of the dangers lurking around in Inuit mythology.
If you’re alone out on the land in winter, watch out for Mahahaa, a giggling creature with long, messy hair and sharp fingernails who tickles its victims to death.
Or Aasivak, a strange-looking woman who carries an ulu. She’s actually a spider that takes on a human form and tries to trap you in her home.
The book, written by Inhabit Media’s co-founder and editor Christopher Neil, is a great introduction to all the spooky characters in Inuit mythology. The creatures are all brought to the life through the drawings of Inuit artist Germaine Arnaktauyok.
Did you know that both male and female muskox have horns? And that a muskox’s under coat, called qiviut, was traditionally gathered from the tundra after the animal shed its coat in the spring and used to line mittens?
These are just some of the science and fun facts included in Inhabit Media’s new non-fiction series, which feature different Arctic animals.
The series includes books on the polar bear and narwhal, each including a first-hand account from its Inuk author.
You can purchase Inhabit Books at Arctic Ventures in Iqaluit, Tivi Galleries in Kuujjuaq and some other shops across Nunavut. You can also purchase Inhabit books online at amazon.ca and through chapters.indigo.ca.
We’ll select the winners Jan. 13.