cover image Akpa’s Journey

Akpa’s Journey

Mia Pelletier, illus. by Kagan McLeod. Inhabit Media, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77227-429-5

Pelletier chronicles a thick-billed murre’s first weeks in this text-heavy tale of Arctic migration. The lengthy story begins with a speckled turquoise egg on a rocky ledge: “A tiny murre named Akpa crouched inside, covered in wet feathers, almost ready to hatch.” Predators come hunting, but Akpa’s parents keep the egg safe, and once the bird emerges, they fill his belly with “an endless stream of gleaming fish.” With winter on the horizon, the chick begins an incredible journey with his father—swimming for days until his flying feathers develop and he can at last launch himself aloft. Along the way, encounters with other marine creatures are played for full anthropomorphized effect as they offer advice for the journey (“Just keep your pointy end headed in the right direction,” says a friendly narwhal). McLeod’s thick brushstrokes render a sea of deep blues and green, creating a vibrant backdrop for the carefully drawn murres. An endnote and map conclude. Ages 6–8. (Oct.)