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In 1913, a boat named Karluk, Aleutian for “fish,” part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, became stuck in the Arctic ice. On board were a captain and crew, scientists and explorers, a cat, forty sled dogs, Iñupiaq hunters, and an Iñupiaq family with two small girls. Even with the Iñupiaq and their skills of hunting and sewing, even with the family’s care and wisdom, even with the compassion and courage of their captain, odds for survival in the cold, dark Arctic seem against the passengers of the Karluk.
Here is a riveting, unforgettable story, poetically told and exquisitely illustrated with rounded scratchboard art that captures the strength and grace of Iñupiaq culture. Details of centuries-old crafts and skills—of sewing boots from caribou legs and ugruk skin, of quickly cutting snow houses, of wearing wooden goggles to ward off snowblindness — will enrich modern imaginations. And by the story’s end, listeners will know something of the way of life in the high north, something of the song of the place, the wide sky, the sound of the wind, the ptarmigan.
From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. “Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied.”
In the deep blue waters of Lake Superior lies a small island of hummingbirds, rabbits, and hardy Norwegian fishing folk. On that island lives a boy named Carl who wants nothing more than to be out on the water in a boat of his own making.
So this is a story of sawing, nailing, and sanding. But because Sand Island neighbors are closer than cousins, this is also a story of picking strawberries, moving rocks, and mending fishing nets fine as lace.