The Owl and the Two Rabbits by N. Sammurtok
Sammurtok, Nadia. The Owl and the Two Rabbits. Iqaluit, NU: Inhabit Media, 2019.
Nadia Sammurtok, author of several children’s books including Caterpillar Woman and Siuluk: The Last Tuniq, has written stories of tundra animals. Like many Inuit children’s stories, this one is cautionary, teaching children not to play in dangerous places. In this story two small rabbits, who have been told to “remain hidden when they played outside,” get carried away jumping and attract the attention of an owl who wants to eat them. They escape by outwitting the owl and working together, two common survival themes in Inuit children’s stories.
Marcus Cutler’s artwork is bright and fun. Often northern scenes are portrayed as muted or dark, but Cutler’s skies are orange, red or purple, and the grasses are vivid greens and yellows. Small children will be able to enjoy the pictures on their own, but the text will require an older reader. While this book is not meant to be realistic—the animals speak and small rabbits are able to push a huge rock—Sammurtok does include some real animal behaviour from which children can learn. For example, “the rabbits' brown coats blended in with the tundra” and they freeze when threatened.
Overall this is an enjoyable volume which would be a good addition to public libraries and elementary school libraries.
Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
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.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).