Oona in the Arctic

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. (Oona: Bk. 3). Jan. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063222328.
K-Gr 2–Oh, Oona! The little Black mermaid is back and surprised to discover a little beluga whale swimming in her warm waters. She and her friend Otto the otter embark on a long journey north to return the baby beluga to her family. As the waters become colder, the ocean grows dark, and Oona and her friends lose their way. When hope fades, they meet Siku, a mermaid whose name means ice and who calls the frosty waters home. She enlists help from a narwhal, polar bears, and other arctic creatures until the baby beluga is finally reunited with her family. As Oona and her friends watch the northern lights dance in the starry sky, she celebrates the “new-friends kind of magic” she has found. This is the third book about the determined little mermaid and her friends. Conversational text infused with humor is designed to be read aloud. The digital illustrations enhance the text, with many charming details to be found on each page. As Oona and friends become unnerved by the creatures of the north, they are seen gazing at a woolly mammoth trapped in a glacier who seems to be looking back at them. Swirling waters and ice and bold colors create an enchanting setting for the sea creatures to explore. Siku has pale skin, straight black hair, and chin tattoos traditionally worn by Inuit women. An acknowledgement of thanks is given to Holly Mititquq Nordlud, an artist, traditional Inuit tattooer, and activist who collaborated in the creation of the book. Recommend to fans of the “Oona” series and mermaid lovers everywhere.
VERDICT A warmhearted story of friendship, bravery, and helping others, recommended for general purchase.

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