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An Inuksuk Means Welcome
By (author): Mary Wallace
9781771471374 Hardcover, Dust jacket English Juvenile: Age (years) from 3 - 7, Grade (CAN) from P - 2, Grade (US) from P - 2 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Science / Customs, Traditions, Anthropology Sep 15, 2015
$18.95 CAD
Active 9 x 12 x 0.44 in 32 pages Owlkids Books Inc.
An inuksuk is a stone landmark that different peoples of the Arctic region build to leave a symbolic message. Inuksuit (the plural of inuksuk) can point the way, express joy, or simply say: welcome. A central image in Inuit culture, the inuksuk frames this picture book as an acrostic: readers will learn seven words from the Inuktitut language whose first letters together spell INUKSUK. Each word is presented in English and in Inuktitut characters, with phonetic pronunciation guides provided.

The words and their definitions give a sense of the traditions and customs of Inuit life in the Arctic: nanuq is the powerful polar bear of the north; kamik is a warm seal- and caribou-skin boot; and siku is sea ice. Stunning paintings with deep color and rich texture evoke a powerful sense of place and show great respect for the Acrtic’s indigenous people.

Extra informational text features include an introductory note about the significance of inuksuit in Inuit culture and a nonfiction page that profiles seven different types of inuksuit.


Mary Wallace is an award-winning artist and art therapist who spent almost twenty years teaching arts and crafts at the Haliburton School of Fine Arts. Her previous title The Inuksuk Book won the 2000 UNESCO International Youth Library White Raven Award, the 1999 National Outdoor Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Non-Fiction, and the Atlantic Library Association’s Hackmatack Book Award. She lives in St. Thomas, Ontario.

"The presence of a close-knit Inuit family...brings a loving warmth to the Arctic landscape Wallace so affectionately portrays." - Publisher's Weekly

""An Inuksuk Means Welcome" is a multi-sensory tour through life in the Arctic for thousands of years, beautifully presented for children of all ages." - The Midwest Book Review's Children's Bookwatch

"Wallace's richly coloured paintings bring both the northern landscape and Inuit culture vividly to life, highlighting the interdependence of the people and the land, and the importance of close family ties." - Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

"A solid compliment to social studies lessons about traditional Inuit customs and the languages of Canada." - National Reading Campaign

"Rich with colour and movement." - Canadian Review of Materials

"A strong addition for libraries looking to expand cultural collections with ease." - School Library Journal

"Adds interest and understanding to an important part of Canada's history and culture." - Resource Links

"Beautiful presentation...invites you, almost entices you, to learn more." - Librarian's Quest

"This book is a fun and aesthetically striking way to teach children about a new language and culture, and could be a useful tool for early primary school social studies classes." - Green Teacher

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