The Caterpillar Woman

illus. by Carolyn Gan. 40p. Inhabit Media. Nov. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781772270839.
Gr 2–4—Piujuq, a lovely and kind Inuit woman, comes across a sickly stranger one day while walking on the tundra. She unwittingly agrees to trade coats with the cursed stranger, a decision that haunts the thoughtful Piujuq as she begins to transform into a caterpillarlike creature, resulting in the loss of her beauty, health, and family. This sad tale of loneliness emphasizes inner beauty and the transformative power of love, but considering the age and concerns of Piujuq, it is unlikely to resonate with the intended audience. ("A part of her was hopeful that one of [a group of male passersby] would take her as his wife, but none of them offered.") The illustrations, however, complement and match the text nicely. The images of Piujuq before and after her ordeal are Disney-like in color and gesture (Piujuq in a field of butterflies reaching upward, Piujuq's hair flowing in the wind, etc.) and fit the themes of the tale well. While the author is an Inuit writer and educator, there is no source material included for readers interested in the origin of this story.
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