Tanna’s Owl

Inhabit Media. Jan. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781772272505.
Gr 1-3–Tanna’s father brings home an owlet and asks her to care for it. She names the owl Ukpik, the Inuktitut word for owl. Tanna learns caring for an owlet is exhausting work; as the owlet grows, so does its appetite. She bonds with Ukpik, and wonders what the owlet is thinking. At the end of summer, Ukpik is learning to fly as Tanna leaves for school. When she returns the following summer, her father tells Tanna that Ukpik flew away. While out playing one afternoon, a snowy owl flies by and lands nearby, observing Tanna. She hopes it is Ukpik returning to visit. The cartoon-style drawings are in muted colors, but Tanna always stands out in her red sweater. The end pages are covered in simple sketches of Tanna and Ukpik. The book begins with a greeting from the author explaining she had unusual pets as a child, and briefly discusses the importance of names and animals to the Inuit. An Inuktitut pronunciation guide is provided.
VERDICT A realistic and entertaining tale of animal rescue and the thrill of seeing an animal return to the wild to live. Recommended as a general purchase.

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