The People of the Sea by D. Uluadluak
Uluadluak, Donald. The People of the Sea, illustrated by Mike Motz, Inhabit Media, 2017
The People of the Sea is a recollection by the late Inuit elder, Donald Uluadluak, of seeing an arnajuinnaq or a sea person, while he and his friends played on the beach near Arviat. The story is a simple retelling of the adventure which highlights the presence of sea-people in Inuit culture. Unlike the vicious mermaids or tuutaliit of books such as Kiviuq and the Mermaids, who have frightening appearances and want to destroy kayaks and kill hunters, the sea-people in this story seem benign and simply curious. Mike Motz has drawn them as almost-expressionless creatures who look like fair-skinned women with long dark hair and facial tattoos – just as Uluadluak describes them. The two-page images are multi-coloured and do a good job of reflecting the sea and tundra environments. Text is overprinted on the images.
The text is simple and comprehensible to the intended audience of 5 to 7 year-olds, but is above their reading level, so an adult would need to read this book aloud. The People of the Sea would also be appropriate for upper elementary children who are interested in traditional myths and legends. Highly recommended for school libraries 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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