Inuit Spirit by G. Arnaktauyok
Arnaktauyok, Germaine. Inuit Spirit. Inhabit Media, 2016.
Generally, we do not include colouring books in library collections because they are consumable. Once someone has coloured the pictures, the book is used up. However, with the advent of adult colouring, the content of some colouring books has become important. Recently there have been several regrettable instances of colouring books about Canadian Indigenous people that have been created by non-Indigenous authors. In contrast, Inuit Spirit contains twenty seven line drawings by world-renowned Inuit artist, Germaine Arnaktauyok. The drawings are of Inuit life, Inuit mythology and tundra and ocean plants and animals. Each drawing comes with an informative note. For example, the drawing of purple saxifrage flowers is accompanied by: “This is a close-up view of purple saxifrage flowers. In the spring, caribou eat so many purple saxifrage flowers that their muzzles are often stained purple.”
If this book were added to a school or public library, children would want to colour the pictures. However, it does supply an artist’s rendition of the Inuit world that is accessible to children. The text also contains useful information. For example, the combination of the image and text of the legend of “earth children” or babies born from the land makes the concept of this legend easy to understand, so the purchase of this volume for children’s collections would be a judgement call by the librarian. However, it would be a good addition to any library that collects works related to Inuit art.
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.
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