The adventure story of a little girl's journey to become a guide of Inuit cultural traditions for young readers.
The book's author Deborah Kigjugalik Webster is a researcher and anthropologist from Baker Lake. She explaines she was inspired to write her children's book ”Akilak's Adventure” because "there aren't a lot of books for Inuit children about life in Nunavut."
When her daughters were growing up, Webster says they always looked forward to evening story time, when they'd read books and weave their own original stories, CBC portal reports.
"Instead of winding the kids down before bed, story time and reading would wind them up and we would stay up past our bed time," said Webster.
The book's title character makes a great journey from one camp to another to gather food. Along the way, Webster says Akilak feels taulittuq, an Inuktitut term describing "the experience of moving, but without the sense of nearing one's destination."
In the story, Akilak draws on her imagination and her grandmother's spirit to turn the daunting trek into an adventure.
"It hopefully reflects the way Inuk kids are and some Inuit beliefs," says Webster.
Webster says it was important for the book to be "culturally authentic" and she worked hard to weave together Inuit beliefs with the narrative.
The book has already touched at least one young Inuk.
A day after the Ottawa book launch, where Webster's friends showed off traditional Inuit clothing and toys, she got a text from her brother. "My nephew, Timothy, who's about 10 years old, he said to his dad ... he'd like to be a writer," she added.
Akilak's Adventure, with illustrations by Toronto's Charlene Chua, is available through Inhabit Media. An Inuktitut version is set to be published early next year.
Source: Arctic-Info Photo: CBC News