________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 14 . . . . December 9, 2016


Fishing With Grandma.

Susan Avingaq & Maren Vsetula. Illustrated by Charlene Chua.
Iqaluit, NU: Inhabit Media, 2016.
32 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-77227-084-6.

Subject Headings:
Ice fishing-Juvenile literature.
Grandmothers-Juvenile fiction.
Grandchildren-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Amy Westbury.

**** /4



As we approached the ice, I could see it was very smooth and flat. There were already people jigging all across the lake.

Grandma parked the ATV on the shoreline and Jeela hopped off and excitedly ran around in the snow.

Grandma explained how to test the ice to make sure it was safe to walk on. She jabbed a long rod into the ice to see if it would break through. If the rod did not break the ice, it was safe to walk on.

We then took our gear out onto the smooth, glassy surface.

"This will be a good spot," Grandma told us, "not too deep and not too shallow."

I was pretty sure my anaanatsiaq knew everything!

Offering an authentic glimpse into Inuit traditions and familial bonds, Fishing with Grandma, which offers an engaging tale of two grandchildren and their grandma on an Arctic adventure, is ideal for primary grades.

internal art      Accompanied by vibrant illustrations by Charlene Chua, this Arctic adventure playfully unfolds in a sequential but heart-warming manner. Showing her grandchildren everything they need to know to complete a successful fishing trip, from what clothes to wear, to how to drill and clear holes in the ice, and to how to use a traditional Inuit jigging rod, Grandma reinforces the importance of thorough preparation for an outdoor Arctic excursion. By knowing what to bring, where to go, and what to do, a successful trip is sure to be had! Basic knowledge and traditional skills are reviewed in a cheery and light-hearted manner that young children will both learn from and enjoy.

internal art      Successfully collecting several fish, Grandma makes sure the children share their haul with other elders in the community as well as enjoying the fish for themselves. Core beliefs of Canada's indigenous peoples are authentically interwoven throughout the story, including respect of elders, sharing food with the community, and honoring the land. The illustrations clearly show the fishing process, including close-up depictions of basic Inuit fishing tools. This is further enhanced by the inclusion of two important and informative text features: an illustrated summary of Inuit fishing tools and a list of Inuktitut terms (and how to pronounce them). Both allow readers to better inform and immerse themselves about the culture being represented.

      Young readers will undoubtedly enjoy this glimpse into the Canadian Arctic way of life and will make connections and comparisons to their own family traditions and trips. This is the mark of truly versatile and culturally responsive picture book. Fishing with Grandma allows readers a window into the life of an Inuit family while simultaneously providing them the opportunity to see their own individual familial experiences.

Highly Recommended.

Amy Westbury is a teacher-librarian at Bruce Trail Public School in Milton, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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