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An inuksuk is a stone landmark that different peoples of the Arctic region build to leave a symbolic message. Inuksuit (the plural of inuksuk) can point the way, express joy, or simply say: welcome. A central image in Inuit culture, the inuksuk frames this picture book as an acrostic: readers will learn seven words from the Inuktitut language whose first letters together spell INUKSUK. Each word is presented in English and in Inuktitut characters, with phonetic pronunciation guides provided.
The words and their definitions give a sense of the traditions and customs of Inuit life in the Arctic: nanuq is the powerful polar bear of the north; kamik is a warm seal- and caribou-skin boot; and siku is sea ice. Stunning paintings with deep color and rich texture evoke a powerful sense of place and show great respect for the Acrtic’s indigenous people.
Extra informational text features include an introductory note about the significance of inuksuit in Inuit culture and a nonfiction page that profiles seven different types of inuksuit.
Mary Wallace is an awardwinning artist and art therapist who spent almost twenty years teaching arts and crafts at the Haliburton School of Fine Arts. Her previous title The Inuksuk Book won the 2000 UNESCO International Youth Library White Raven Award and the 1999 National Outdoor Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association's Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, and the Atlantic Library Association's Hackmatack Book Award. She lives St. Thomas, Ontario.