Putuguq and Kublu and the Qalupalik

Inhabit Media. May 2019. 32p. pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781772272284.
Gr 1-3–This graphic novel aimed at emergent readers offers a much-needed window into the world of Arctic First Nations families and legends. The two protagonists have a typical sibling dynamic as younger brother Putuguq tags along and annoys his older sister Kublu. On the way to meet a friend near the ocean, the duo run into their grandfather. He warns them to steer clear of the shoreline, lest they become victims of the Qalupalik, a nightmarish, mermaidlike creature who captures those who wander too close to the water. A map orienting readers to Putuguq and Kublu’s snow-covered village is a nice touch and showcases an array of homes on stilts, many with snowmobiles (and sled dogs) outside. Though the language is stilted at times, it’s similar to the simplistic vocabulary offered in most other easy readers. The pronunciation guide may be helpful, especially for the book’s emergent reading audience. Colorful, expressive, and highly stylized cartoon illustrations offer broad appeal to kids, especially those interested in creepy creatures.
VERDICT A superb addition to beginning reader collections

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