________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 13 . . . . November 27, 2015


Our First Caribou Hunt.

Jennifer Noah & Chris Giroux. Illustrated by Hwei Lim.
Iqaluit, NU: Inhabit Media, 2015.
32 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-77227-022-8.

Subject Headings:
Inuit-Hunting-Juvenile fiction.
Caribou-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Reesa Cohen.

*** /4


Two Inuit children, Simonie and Nutaraq, watch excitedly as their father, Ataata, gathers all the equipment to take them on their very first hunting expedition.

The Two of them had enjoyed preparing for this hunting trip with their father. Simonie and Nutaraq knew that their Ataata was a skilled hunter, and they wanted to be just like him. They could hardly wait to bring home a Tuktu, a caribou or even Tuktuit, many caribou to share with their family and community, the way their Ataata always did.

      Our First Caribou Hunt details the preparations of two children and their father for camping, including the gear needed and the clothing, and then their travels in the Northern tundra, always with an emphasis on safety. Questions from the children help to explain to both them and the readers how their early ancestors lived. Inuit words unfamiliar to most readers are highlighted in context to indicate their meaning. The children help their father build an iglu, with the type of the snow needed for this venture carefully explained. Once their camping site is built, the hunt is on, and Simonie and his father are successful in getting three caribou. Nutaraq expresses her disappointment that she wasn't part of this first success, but she gets her chance on the ride home.

      Traditions of the Inuit heritage, their values, the role of the hunt and their unique culture are highlighted in this title.

It is very important for Inuit hunters to give thanks to the animals they have caught. We must show our gratitude and joy to the animal that gave its life, so that we could have food. It is bad luck not to give thanks, and the Inuit can have a hard time finding game if we don't pay our catch the proper respect.

      The balance of nature seems vital in this part of the world, and the values of the Inuit become the clear message. The significance of sharing the catch and the respect towards the land and animals are of great importance to the authors. The illustrator, Lim, has chosen varying shades of blue, both light and dark, to reflect the coldness of the area. The colourful clothing worn presents a nice contrast to the white and blue surroundings.

      Our First Caribou Hunt is published by Inhabit Media, an Inuit owned publishing company that "aims to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of Northern Canada, in a way that is accessible to readers in both northern and southern Canada."


Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children's Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.

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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