- Age Range: 4 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (February 26, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 061800341X
- ISBN-13: 978-0618003419
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,578,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish Hardcover – February 26, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
The author merges fact and conjecture with mixed results in this dense account of the 1913 expedition of a ship named the Karluk (the Aleutian word for "fish"). The vessel sailed north from British Columbia toward the Arctic Circle and stopped at Alaska's Point Barrow to pick up an I?upiaq family. The expedition's mission, "to study the plants and people in the high north," takes a backseat when the Karluk becomes locked in ice and eventually sinksAsurvival becomes the crew's goal. Unlike Snow Bentley, in which Martin neatly balanced the historical framework with telling anecdotes, here details of the expedition outweigh the human storyAdespite some interesting facts (e.g., "Qiruk, the mother, could look at a man,/ cut a fur skin with her round-bladed ulu, and sew a pair of pants/ that would fit him exactly"). Though the author guesses about how various family members feel while awaiting rescue (she writes about one daughter, "Maybe she looked into the seal oil lamp and heard/ her grandmother singing the song of home./ And she did not feel so lonely"), Martin does not speculate about why the I?upiaq family leaves their grandmother and their home to travel by sea with strangers. Despite scattered moments of suspense and Krommes's (Grandmother Winter) engaging, earth-toned scratchboard art, youngsters are apt to find this journey laborious and slow moving. Ages 6-up. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. In 1913, a Canadian research boat named Fish became trapped in the ice on an Arctic expedition. Along with a captain, crew, scientists, and explorers, the ship carried sled dogs and some Inupiaq people, including a family with two small daughters on which the story centers. In language as stark and elemental as the landscape, the author of the Caldecott Medal-winning Snowflake Bentley (1998) describes how the group survived using Inupiaq cultural traditions, which are presented in detail reminiscent of the Little House books. Impatient readers unimpressed by survival stories may find these descriptions slow going, but Martin includes details that will fascinate kids (Inupiaq sunglasses--how cool!). The quiet, intriguing language, with a poet's attention to sound, will lull young ones into the story's drama, as will Beth Krommes' captivating scratchboard illustrations, suggestive of Lois Lenski's work in their rounded shapes and bold lines. With its picture-book format and well-paced chapters, this is a great choice for primary classroom read-alouds. Gillian Engberg
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