From School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A storyteller recounts a traditional tale that his grandfather told about a colossal polar bear, a "nanurluk," a survivor of the days long ago when giants roamed the Arctic hunting the huge creatures. In this simply told story, an Inuit man living near the edge of the sea comes upon a large hole in the ice, an "aglu," where a huge bear sleeps in the deep water. To protect his wife and home from the predatory creature, he quickly devises a plan that involves scooping water from the hole and pouring it over the aglu's icy sides. The freezing water thickens its walls until the great bear can no longer fit through. Seeing the man through the ice, the bear claws at the hole until its huge head pokes out, allowing the man to stab at the creature's eyes and nose with his harpoon, taking away its senses of sight and smell. Later, following the bear's trail, the man finds the huge creature dead on the ground, now a source of many meals for the couple. Widermann's double-page paintings of the snow-and-ice landscape sandwiched between clouded blue sky and icy blue-black water clearly show the man's minuscule size in relation to that of the immense nanurluk; the soft fur and leather of the couple's clothing; and the warmth of the fire-lit igloo interior. Several scenes show the vividly bloodied bear against the icy landscape. Pencil sketches of the roaring animal's massive head fill the endpapers. A foreword briefly introduces creatures of Inuit lore. Despite the rather gruesome details of the bear's demise, larger collections seeking Inuit folklore may want to consider this authentically recounted tale.-Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Heights Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
is an elder and storyteller from Kugaaruk, Nunavut. Eva Widermann
is a freelance illustrator and concept artist whose work has been published in a wide variety of books, magazines, and games. Her work has become renowned for its realistic and evocative edge.