The Walrus and the Caribou

 
4.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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The Walrus and the Caribou
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
4+
Release Date
April 14, 2020
ISBN
978-1772272567
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When the earth was new, words had the power to breathe life into the world. But when creating animals from breath, sometimes one does not get everything right on the first try! Based on a traditional Inuit story passed forward orally for generations in the South Baffin region of Nunavut, this book shares with young readers the origin of the caribou and the walrus―and tells of how very different these animals looked when they were first conceived.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
A Tale of Creation
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
'The Walrus and the Caribou' by Maika Harper, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, is an endearing tale of creation, based on a traditional Inuit story passed along through the generations through oral retellings in communities across the Arctic. Both the walrus and the caribou are shown how they were “originally” created, and then it is made clear how the decision was made to give them different parts to make them the creatures they are in the present day. It's always interesting to consider how ideas can change over time. The way that something starts out might be very different than where it ends up, and so goes the tale of the walrus and the caribou.

A little woman named Guk is the one responsible for breathing life into the world in this story. Her breath is the key to the animals' creation, and she takes her job seriously, noting how the different parts of the animals might be better served on the opposite creature.

For those who enjoy tales of creation and innovation, 'The Walrus and the Caribou' is the book for you.
Good Points
For those who enjoy tales of creation and innovation, 'The Walrus and the Caribou' is the book for you.
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delightfully illustration folktale
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
THE WALRUS AND THE CARIBOU is a delightful picture book that captures Indigenous folklore about the creation of animals. Guk breathed life into a walrus with antlers and a caribou with tusks, but both of the animals bothered the hunters. She then realizes some of her mistakes and switches the antlers and tusks on the walrus and carribou, and the final design is just right.

What I loved: This is a simple folklore tale that captures the imagination. I loved the colorful and cartoonish illustrations on each page, and the simplicity of the story is great for many ages. There's a lot of fun in the walrus and caribou, as well as their silly interactions with the hunters. Guk is delightful, and her personality comes across throughout. The book ends with a question, inviting children to think of the animals they would create if they could - a fun exercise.

What left me wanting more: As a small point, Guk kicks the caribou in the story. I would rather not show this as it is a bad example for children (particularly toddlers who may still be learning that we don't kick people or animals).

Final verdict: Overall, this is a fun picture book about an Indigenous folktale sure to appeal to children with the expressive Guk, animal fun, and fantastic illustrations.
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