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Animals Illustrated Series by Inhabit Media

Inhabit Media.  Animals Illustrated Series

Flaherty, William.  Polar Bear, illustrated by Danny Christopher. Inhabit Media, 2016.

Awa, Solomon.  Narwhal, illustrated by Hwei Lim. Inhabit Media, 2016.

Niptanatiak, Allen.  Muskox, illustrated by Kagan McLeod. Inhabit Media, 2016. 

There are many picture book series that introduce the natural histories of various animals, often including Arctic animals.  However, few of these are created in the Arctic. These three authors all have first-hand knowledge of the animals.  William Flaherty is a conservation officer in Iqaluit and Solomon Awa is an Inuk from Igloolik, NU, who has lived a traditional lifestyle and Allen Niptanatiak is a hunter and trapper who lives at Kugluktuk, NU.   Polar Bear, Narwhal and Muskox the first three in Inhabit Media’s new Animals Illustrated series. 

Illustrations are usually spread across two pages with related text overprinted.  The illustrations, by Danny Christopher for Polar Bear and Hwei Lim for Narwhal are similar in style.  Both make extensive use of light blue, dark blue and white to represent the animals in their snow and water environments. Kagan MacLeod’s drawings for Muskox are brighter and show the more colourful tundra scenes.   There are also detailed drawings of the animals’ skeletons in each book.

All of the books follow the familiar format of a natural history, with sections covering physical characteristics, range, skeleton, diet, reproduction, habitat and interesting information specific to the particular animal.  The interesting fact about the narwhal is that they have been known to dive more than 1,500 meters.  At the end of the polar bear book, there is a short description of the nanurluk, the mythological giant polar bear. The “Fun Fact” about the muskox is about how they use their horns.  There is also a “Traditional Uses” page that notes the use of the hides, meat and qiviut (muskox down).   Inhabit Media lists the audience for these books as ages 4-6, but the reading level of the text is Grade 4 and above. Younger children will enjoy the illustrations, but will need help to understand the text. 

These are excellent books that would be good acquisitions for school and public libraries, however, they contain little information that would not be found in similar works already held by many libraries.  Libraries with limited budgets might want to spend their money on some of Inhabit Media’s other works that contain unique content.  

Highly Recommended: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer:  Sandy Campbell

Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has written hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.  Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.