Friday, December 4, 2015

An Inuksuk Means Welcome

An Inuksuk Means Welcome
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".

What I like love about this book is that it's an actrostic. But instead of an acrostic poem written down the page, this acrostic flows across the pages of this book, from beginning to end. 

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 BooksReview copy from the publisher. 


  1. fabulous. Great title and cover and makes me want to visit some of these communities.

  2. What a fascinating book. Can't imagine living in such a frigid climate. I learned some things about the Inuit I didn't know.

  3. I love learning about new places and cultures. I have a feeling, based on your review, that I'm going to enjoy this book. Thanks for adding the links. I'd like to try the skillet bread. Sounds good.

  4. How do they keep the stones from becoming snow covered? Looks like I'm gonna have to read. :)

  5. Wow, this is very interesting. Love the cover and learning about a different culture. Right up my sleeve is this. Thanks.