A Walk on the Tundra

Though it makes up over FORTY PERCENT of Canada’s landmass, for the majority of Canadians, who live in the country’s more temperature southern regions, the Arctic might as well be on the moon. It is a massive region filled with incredible natural vistas and teeming with flora and fauna, and is home to centuries’ old cultures and communities, yet because much of the Canadian Arctic is remote and at times only seasonably accessible, it is a region that many Canadians will never experience in person.

How lucky we all are, then, to have beautiful, brilliant picture books that portray Inuit culture, heritage and life in sensitive, positive ways, serving both as mirrors for Inuit children, and windows for the rest of Canada.

A Walk on the Tundra is a beautiful celebration of both the beauty of the Arctic landscape, and a celebration of Inuit culture and traditions. A passionate advocate for Inuktitut language education and a respected educator and administrator,  author Rebecca Hainnu takes children on a journey across the Arctic Tundra, instilling in young readers an appreciation for this stark yet vibrant landscape.

A little girl named Inuujaq travels with her grandmother through the tundra. Along the way, her grandmother introduces her to some of the hardy plants that live in the region, and which have been used by the local peoples as food and medicine for generations.

In addition to being a lovely inter-generational story about a child and a grandparent, A Walk on the Tundra is also highly informative and thoroughly researched, and includes photographs and a field guide to plants native to the area for further information.

Publisher Inhabit Media has created a corresponding study guide, perfect for educators who want to expand on the story, or use it as part of a unit on Northern Canada or Indigenous communities.

And more illustrations from Qin Leng! Each of Leng’s images is sweet and full of life and colour. Leng is one of my favourite illustrators, and is Canadian, to boot! I particularly appreciate the very modern setting of this Inuit story – the characters are deeply connected to their culture and tradition, but are perfectly at home in their modern communities.

A Walk on the Tundra is one of those wonderful picture books that manages to be both educational and entertaining, and is definitely worth picking up, wherever your classroom or library happens to be!

Chuck in the City

Chuck in the City

I am very fortunate to be able to support and engage with a very diverse group of young children in my work, which includes children from different Aboriginal communities. I work in a neighbourhood with a large Aboriginal population, and have been privileged to explore and learn more about different cultures and traditions. One of […]

Goodnight World

Goodnight World

It’s never too early to introduce children to fantastic Aboriginal art, culture and traditions! Goodnight World is a beautiful baby book that’s brimming with colour and life, and is perfect for sharing with the little ones in your life. This beautiful board book is a perfect bedtime read for families with young children. Little ones can […]

What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned by Sherman Alexie

What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned by Sherman Alexie

Paperback, 156 pages Published November 12th 2013 by Hanging Loose Press Source: Library Sherman Alexie is better known for his amazing novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian but just as popular among the older set are his poems. I managed to hunt down and read What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned and […]

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems (Asiya Haque Mystery #1) – Ishara Deen

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems (Asiya Haque Mystery #1) – Ishara Deen

Paperback, 236 pages Published January 15th 2017 by Deeya Publishing Inc. Source: Author First, it is not often you get a WOC face forward on books meant for kids. Yes, even illustrated WOC are either in silhouette or turned away from the front for reasons I don’t know. And for Muslim women? Hell, being on […]

Freckleface Strawberry, or, Finding Diversity in Unusual Places

Freckleface Strawberry, or, Finding Diversity in Unusual Places

Finding diversity in early readers, particularly when it comes to popular, commercially-successful series, can unfortunately be a real struggle for many teachers, librarians and caregivers. Books featuring trains, dinosaurs, aliens, superheroes and animals are a dime a dozen, but finding stories that reflect the diversity of our communities can be challenging. I discovered a great […]