Kamik Joins the Pack by D. Baker
Baker, Darryl. Kamik Joins the Pack. Illustrated by Qin Leng. Inhabit Media, 2016.
This is the third book about Jake and his puppy, Kamik. Each of the books in the series is adapted from the memories of a different author. The first, Kamik: an Inuit Puppy Story was by Donald Uluadluak, while Kamik’s First Sled was by Matilda Sulurayok. In addition to the characters and setting, the constant across these books is the illustration by Qin Leng, whose bright and colourful drawings capture the Arctic environment. Each of Leng’s drawings covers a pair of pages, with text overprinted on the snow or sky. Leng sometimes cleverly adds to the expansiveness of the images by showing just a boot or a dog entering or exiting the side or bottom of the page.
In this volume Jake and the reader learn about looking after sled dogs and training a puppy to join a dogsled team. Jake’s uncle teaches him about cutting dogs’ nails, inspecting paws for injuries, mending harnesses, building dog houses and keeping dogs healthy. The most important lesson is about spending time with the dogs to get to know them well. The language is more appropriate to an upper elementary reading level than the 5 to 7 year-old intended audience. However, because it is primarily a picture book, it would be a good read-aloud book for younger audiences.
Recommended for elementary schools and public libraries.
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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