CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 33 . . . . May 5, 2017
Muskox is very well designed and well bound in the reviewed hardcover format. It has a table of contents that informs the reader where to find information about the animal, such as its range, skeleton, withstanding the cold, diet, babies, predators, defense, fun facts, and traditional uses. Kagan McLeod illustrates this book. I believe it to be outstanding and an important contribution to Canadian nonfiction literature. Allen Niptanatiak, who is a hunter and trapper from Kugluktuk, NU, writes with authority about this unique animal. As I read, the text answered questions as they came up. I would ask myself, "I wonder what they eat?" "How do they find food?" "What are those horns for?" The only fact I had to wait for was found in the 'Fun Facts' section where I learned about the use of the animals' massive horns and what sounds the muskox might make. The information flows very naturally from cover to cover.
This is the second book in Inhabit Media's "Animals Illustrated" series that I have had the privilege of reviewing, and I must admit that I am impressed. Originally, I had the impression that books that are 'illustrated' and do not include actual photos would be less desirable to read than the same text with photos. This book has changed my mind. I think Inhabit Media has found a niche that is both valuable and culturally significant. Indigenous peoples across the continent have incredible histories to share and protect. It would be fascinating to have similar books written about traditionally important animals and their uses. Muskox would be an excellent addition to any library's collection, and it would be very useful in animal research, traditions research, and compare/contrast units. Now, I must go and read "Animals Illustrated"'s Polar Bear.
John Dryden teaches in Cowichan, BC.