Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Written by: Debby Dahl Edwardson
Illustrated by: Annie Patterson
"Filled with joy, this tale about a loving family and a caring community is something all youngsters can understand. Amiqqaq is home with his grandmother when fat flakes begin to fall. She refers to the precipitation as "whale snow," which occurs when a whale has given itself to the people of their Alaskan village. Soon Amiqqaq's father comes in to announce the kill, and then takes the boy to see the great beast. Before long, Amiqqaq begins to understand the true spirit of the whale, as members of his community come together to celebrate and prepare its different parts for use. The author has included notes about the Iupiat culture, a list of words in Iupiaq, and a link to a Web site where readers can access the story written in that language.
Although infused with the colors of winter, the illustrations create a sense of peace and warmth. Patterson's characters acknowledge the strengths of modern culture without giving up traditional ways: Amiqqaq's father rides a skidoo, but also wears the traditional parka, and villagers dress in various combinations of jeans, parkas, and warm boots. An intriguing glimpse into another culture."
School Library Journal Review
**this link contains a downloadable readers theatre script on the left side of the page**