by Mary Wallace
32 pages; ages 3 - 7
Owlkids Books, 2015
theme: friendship, multicultural, Arctic living
opening: For thousands of years, people living in the Arctic have built stone towers called inuksuit to guide them across this land of snow and ice.
An inuksut can mark a good place to fish or hunt, or how to get home. It can be a way to say "welcome".
It begins, I is for inuksuk, the stone messenger that stands at the top of the world. The next spread shows how to pronounce the word and the Inuktitut characters.
By the end of the book readers will have learned seven words from the Inuktitut language - words that give a sense of the traditions and customs of Inuit life in the arctic. Some words may sound familiar, like nanuq, the polar bear. Others, like umimmat (musk ox) less so.
Beyond the book: Cold winter days are perfect for learning more about life in the north. Head outside when the wind is blowing, and snow flying. Then come in to warm up with some hot tea and bannock, a type of skillet bread. You can follow the recipe here.
Build your own Inuksuk. Find 6 - 10 stones with flat sides, so you can stack them. For help, watch this video. If you can't find stones, build one out of blocks or make some "stones" out of salt dough that you can let dry.
Make a Bone and Stick game. All you need is a stick (a pencil will do), a cardboard tube, some string, a hole punch and a pair of scissors. Follow directions in this video.
Make art. Check out these coloring pages - or draw your own pictures of arctic animals and inuksuit.
Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy from the publisher.