cover image Lo Que Cuentan los Inuit = Tales of the Inuit

Lo Que Cuentan los Inuit = Tales of the Inuit

Canela, Olga Monkman. Sudamericana, $7.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-950-07-1845-5

Gr 4-8-In this unusual collection of tales, Monkman maintains a narrative voice that feels very close to that of the original sources. Unlike most folklore for younger readers, from which the rough edges have been smoothed and through which a pointed dramatic line normally runs, these retellings are less embellished, less dramatically conclusive, and more evocative of the Inuit culture and belief systems than of an attempt to find a presumed ""universal"" core. Monkman has used no conventional storytelling ""tricks"" to heighten suspense or provide grand climaxes. For these reasons, many readers may find the stories too simple or insufficiently fulfilling. However, the selections open a marvelous window into a culture set in wide expanses of ice, persistent snow, and the immense polar night. The 12 short tales are followed by an interesting overview of Inuit history and culture, including looks at weaponry, boat making, art, and igloo building, and a citation of sources. Scafati's illustrations feature outlines of heavy black pen strokes and inner lines of delicacy and cross-hatching, expressive and in some ways reminiscent of the work of Victor Ambrus. Recommended for school libraries and bookstores. Coop Renner, Paul C. Moreno Elementary, El Paso, TX