Monday, December 3, 2012

Canadian Children's Books: Hide and Sneak ; My Arctic 1, 2, 3 ; Don't Laugh at Giraffe

Title: Hide and Sneak
Author: Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak; Illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka
Publisher: Annick Press
ISBN: 1550372297
Obtained: Library copy (kinda - a neighboring library system's copy)


A young girl wants to go off and play hide and seek, but is warned not to go to far or the Ijiraq might hide her.  She isn't very good at hide and seek, but she does observe some fascinating thing in her exploration.  Along the way she sees an Inuksugaq (stones piled to look like a man), among other things (fish, butterflies, etc.).  And what do you know?  The Ijiraq comes along and tells her about the perfect hiding spot.  She follows along until she finds herself wanting to go home.  But where is home?  One of the illustrations as she tries to find is shows a shape barely more than a dot.  My niece immediately recognized it as the stone man.  I had to look closer.  Does she find her way home?

The illustrations are quite lovely with their color and detail.  The pages all have borders with what I believe is the Inuit language along the bottom.

Title: My Arctic 1, 2, 3
Author: Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak; Illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka
Publisher: Annick Press
ISBN: 1550375059
Obtained: Library copy


This is a counting book, but it isn't like every other counding book.  The numbers follow from 1 through 10 then jump to 20, 100, 100000 (millions) [that's based on my notes - I know the numbers don't correspond, but I don't know what is accurate since I no longer have the book on hand], and back to 1.  Each number represents animals and such you'd find in the arctic world of Michael Kusugak and his family.  At the end the book goes over some of the words found.

Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak lives in the Rankin Inlet in Nunavut, Canada.  Illustrator Vladyana Krykorka is originally from what was formerly Czechoslovakia and is now the Czech Republic.  She has resided in Toronto (Ontario) since 1968.

Title: Don't Laugh at Giraffe
Author: Rebecca Bender aka Rebecca Buchanan
Publisher: Pajama Press
Series: Giraffe and Bird, Bk 2
ISBN: 9780986949562
Obtained: Library copy


I chose this because I thought it'd be a good moral story. It turned out it is also a good book for vocab. Words like tremble, slinks, and pop are made larger. There are several different laughs named (guffaw, cackle, howl, cheep) along with descriptions about how they sound (Ah-Clack, Clack Clack; Oh-Hoo Hoo; Cheep Cheep Chirup; etc.).  Plus it kind of had the moral I expected. Think about how your friends feel if you laugh at them, but how everyone feels when they laugh together.  I saw some reviews on Goodreads that were negative about some of the same points I appreciated, leading me to believe this is a "depends on the person" type of book.  I think everyone could agree the illustrations are bright and charming.

While the above books were chosen for being Canadian books, this one was sheer coincidence.  The author is from Ontario.  I have requested the library either purchase or ILL Giraffe and Bird.


  1. I used to live in Rankin and met Michael. I'm so happy when Canadian Book Challenge participants read his books.

    1. I love meeting authors. They're like my celebrities. =) Michael's books were a pleasure to read.

    2. "They're like my celebrities."

      Yes, indeed!


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