How Nivi Got Her Names

illus. by Charlene Chua. 36p. glossary. Inhabit Media. Apr. 2017. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781772271379.
K-Gr 2—Deal offers an explanation of Inuit naming customs in this tale about young Nivi, who is exploring the meaning and reason for each of her five names. The book starts with a two-page introduction to Inuit traditions and how they differ from Western ways of naming. The narrative follows Nivi as she plays with her mother and asks the history of each of her names. The illustrations are playful and inviting and help bring to life the oral storytelling tradition. Inuktitut words are sprinkled throughout, with a glossary highlighting the words at the end. ("'Baabi was an intelligent and kind soul,' Nivi's mother said with a smile. 'A man full of integrity and character and a special family friend. He appeared one night in a dream your anaana had.'") Nivi has been adopted through an Inuit custom in which a pregnant woman provides her child to someone who needs one.
VERDICT An informative picture book that is useful for introducing concepts of Inuit culture, naming, and adoption but is best shared one-on-one.

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