Putuguq & Kublu

Danny Christopher, illus. by Astrid Arijanto. Inhabit Media (IPG, dist.), $5.95 paper (44p) ISBN 978-1-77227-143-0
Part graphic novel, part early reader, this cheeky story opens in “a small community just north of the Arctic Circle,” where siblings Putuguq and Kublu are busy doing what brothers and sisters everywhere do: messing with each other. Putuguq lies in wait as the book opens, hiding behind a snowmobile in hopes of scaring his older sister. “She will never suspect a thing...” he gloats, right before Kublu dumps a snowball on his head (“I can hear you whispering to yourself!” she crows). The subsequent chase leads to a tumble and a conversation with the children’s grandfather about the inuksuit (stone markers) that dot the landscape and often date back thousands of years. The verbal sparring and pratfalls (including a ripped-pants gag that even gets a chuckle out of Grandpa) are well-matched by newcomer Arijanto’s bright, crisp cartooning; her chunky images lend the characters a doll-like quality, and the blue skies and fields of yellow-green grass offer a vision of the Arctic beyond expanses of ice and snow. Endnotes about inuksuit and the vanished Tuniit/Dorset people round out an entertaining story of sibling one-upmanship. Ages 5–7. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
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