Tag Archives: folklore

Way Back Then

Written by: Neil Christopher

Illustrated by: Germaine Arnaktauyok

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: Inuktitut & English, pronunciation guide included. 

Topics Covered: First Nations, Indigenous Voices, Folklore, Culture & Traditions, 

Summary: Kudlu’s children cannot sleep.  They beg him for stories about olden times, when there was magic and the mountains were made of giants.  Kudlu tells his children of a fox and a raven.  They each wanted something different from the sky-the fox wanted a dark sky and the raven wanted a bright one.  The two could never agree, so that’s why we have night and day! Kudlu’s children and the reader learn why there are caribou, a goose-woman, and a time when the earth helped Inuit numbers grow by giving birth to children.

Each folktale Kudlu tells his children starts with “Way back then…” and they are short, taking up just half a page.  The book setup has a beautiful illustration on one page, and the story in both languages on the opposite.  They are fantastical tales and fun for children to imagine, with giant polar bears and whales bursting out of a woman’s fingers.  This book is an amazing resource for someone unfamiliar with Inuit folklore and history!  Bilingual books are so important, even if the reader isn’t learning the language.  Having exposure to a variety of languages helps with acceptance of others, and the questions naturally built into the story are an awesome resource for reflection.

Reflection Questions:

  • What do you notice about the Inuktitut language?
  • Which was your favorite legend?
  • Which magic power would you like to have?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Neil-172x300Neil Christopher is an educator, author, and filmmaker. He first moved to the North many years ago to help start a high school program in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. It was those students who first introduced Neil to the mythical inhabitants from Inuit traditional stories. The time spent in Resolute Bay changed the course of Neil’s life. Since that first experience in the Arctic, Nunavut has been the only place he has been able to call home. Neil has worked with many community members to record and preserve traditional Inuit stories. Together with his colleague, Louise Flaherty, and his brother, Danny Christopher, Neil started a small publishing company in Nunavut called Inhabit Media Inc., and has since been working to promote Northern stories and authors.

2602boo_postGermaine Arnaktauyok is an Inuit artist and illustrator, best known for her prints and etchings depicting Inuit myths and traditional ways of life. In 1999, she designed the special edition two-dollar coin commemorating the founding of the territory of Nunavut. She is the co-author, with Gyu Oh, of My Name Is Arnaktauyok: The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok. She lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

 

 

 

6n_DMFs0_400x400About the publisher, Inhabit Media! Scroll down for English translation.

Inhabit Media Inc. ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᓂ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᕆᔭᐅᓪᓗᓂ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᔪᖅ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖓᓂ. ᑐᕌᒐᕆᔭᕗᑦ ᐃᑲᔪᕋᓱᒡᓗᒋᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᒋᐊᕐᓗᒋᓪᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐅᔪᓪᓗ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᓂᑦ, ᐃᑲᔪᖅᓯᕐᓗᑕᓗ ᖃᐅᔨᓇᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ (ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ, ᑲᓇᑕᒥ ᐊᕕᒃᑐᖅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᐅᐊᖕᓇᖅᐸᓯᖕᓂᖅᐹᖓᓃᑦᑐᖅ).  ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑎᑦ, ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑎᑦ, ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓪᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐆᒻᒪᖅᑎᑎᓲᖑᕗᑦ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓄᑦ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓄᑦ ᐃᓕᓴᕐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒋᐅᖅᑕᐅᔪᓂᒡᓗ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐃᓕᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ.

ᑎᒥᙳᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ 2006-ᖑᑎᓪᓗᒍ, Inhabit Media ᐱᒋᐊᖅᑎᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᕗᖅ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥᐅᑦ ᓄᑕᕋᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᖃᑦᑕᕆᐊᖃᕐᓂᖏᓐᓄᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᕐᒥᓂᒃ ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑕᒥᖕᓂ ᐃᓕᓐᓂᐊᕐᕕᖕᓂ. ᐅᑭᐅᑦ ᖁᓕᙳᖅᐳᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᖢᑕ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖅᑎᓂᒡᓗ ᑲᓇᑕᐅᑉ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᖁᑎᓕᒫᖏᓐᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᓪᓕᐊᓪᓗᑕ ᐊᔾᔨᒌᙱᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᖁᑎᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐳᐃᒍᖅᑕᐅᖁᓇᒋᑦ ᑭᖑᕚᕆᔭᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᓄᑦ.

ᐊᒥᓱᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑕᕗᑦ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᑕᐅᓚᐅᖅᓯᒪᙱᑦᑐᑦ, ᐱᑕᖃᐃᓐᓇᐅᔭᖅᑑᒐᓗᐊᑦ ᑕᐃᒪᙵᓂᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᒑᖓᒥᒃ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑕᐅᕙᒃᖢᑎᒃ  ᑭᖑᕚᕇᓄᑦ. ᐃᓚᖏᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖅᑐᐊᑐᖄᓘᒐᓗᐊᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋᑦ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᒃ, ᐃᓄᖕᓂᒡᓗ ᑎᑎᕋᖅᐸᒃᑐᓂᒃ ᒫᓐᓇᕐᓂᓴᕐᓂᒃ, ᐊᒻᒪ ᑎᑎᕋᐅᔭᖅᑎᓂᒃ ᓇᑭᕈᓘᔭᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᑦ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᑭᒃᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓂᑦ ᐅᓪᓗᒥᐅᔪᖅ ᑐᑭᓯᔭᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᑲᓇᑕᒥᐅᓂᑦ ᐊᒥᐊᓕᑲᒥᐅᓂᓪᓗ. ᐅᖃᓕᒫᒐᓕᐊᕆᕙᒃᑕᕗᑦ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔾᔨᑐᐃᓐᓇᕐᓗᑎᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐱᖅᑯᓯᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᙱᓚᑦ; ᓇᓗᓇᐃᖅᓯᖕᒥᔪᑦ ᑲᔪᓯᑎᑦᑎᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᑐᖃᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᐊᓯᐅᔨᔭᐅᓇᔭᖅᑐᒃᓴᐅᔪᕕᓂᕐᓂᒃ, ᐅᖃᓕᒫᖅᑎᓂᑦ ᐱᐅᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒃ, ᖁᕕᐊᒋᔭᐅᓪᓗᑎᒡᓗ ᐊᒻᒪ ᑐᓴᐅᒪᑎᑦᑎᓂᖃᖅᐸᒃᐳᑦ.

ᓯᕗᓪᓕᖅᐹᖑᓪᓗᑕ ᓴᖅᑭᑎᕆᓂᕐᒥᒃ ᑲᒻᐸᓂᐅᓪᓗᑕ ᓄᓇᕗᒻᒥ, ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒃᐳᒍᑦ ᐅᑭᐅᖅᑕᖅᑐᕐᒥᐅᑦ ᐅᓂᒃᑳᖏᓐᓂᒃ ᓯᓚᑐᓂᖏᓐᓂᒡᓗ ᑕᑯᖅᑯᔨᔭᕆᐊᒃᓴᖅ ᓯᓚᕐᔪᐊᕐᒥᐅᓄᑦ!

 

Inhabit Media Inc. is the first Inuit-owned, independent publishing company in the Canadian Arctic. We aim to promote and preserve the stories, knowledge, and talent of the Arctic, while also supporting research in Inuit mythology and the traditional Inuit knowledge of Nunavummiut (residents of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory). Our authors, storytellers, and artists bring traditional knowledge to life in a way that is accessible to readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Inuit culture and traditions.

Incorporated in 2006, Inhabit Media was born out of a need for Nunavut kids to see their culture accurately represented in the books they read in schools. We have spent the last ten years working with elders and storytellers from across the Canadian Arctic to ensure that the region’s unique Inuit oral history is recorded and not lost to future generations.

Many of the stories that we publish have never been written down before, having existed for centuries as tales passed orally from generation to generation. While many of these stories are ancient, we work closely with elders, contemporary Inuit writers, and illustrators the world over to present folktales and traditional stories in a format that will resonate with modern audiences across North America. Our books do not simply provide a glimpse into Inuit culture; they also represent the preservation of oral history and traditional knowledge that may otherwise have been lost, in a format that contemporary readers will find engaging, entertaining, and informative.

As the first independent publishing company in Nunavut, we are excited to bring Arctic stories and wisdom to the world!

Thunder Rose

Written by: Jerdine Nolen

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson

For ages: 5-10 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Feminism, Love, Family, Acceptance, Folklore. 

Summary: This book tells the tale of Rose, a baby born during a thunderstorm in the Old West.  This magical child sits right up and grabs a ball of lightning to hold over her shoulder, and begins to speak.  Overcome with love and emotion, her parents begin to sing to Rose.  Rose tells them she will keep the song in her heart and harness its power one day.  Rose earned her nickname Thunder Rose that first night, from snoring so loudly along with the thunder that she rattled the rafters.  As Thunder Rose grows up, her strength and resilience is a source of great pride for her parents.  Rose can lift up a cow, bend iron bars, and stake new fences into the family farm without help.  Thunder Rose may be sweet and polite, but she is full of thunder and lightning.  Rose bends a thunderbolt out of iron and names it Cole, a constant companion and tool for life on the farm.  One day Thunder Rose gets wind of a herd of stampeding bulls, and manages to stop them just in time from destroying the family’s farmhouse.  Upon catching the biggest and meanest steer in the herd, Rose starts to hum the song in her heart and the steer became the sweetest and most playful bull anyone had ever met!  Rose named him Tater, and they became fast friends, snuggling together in the field.

Rose goes on to create barbed wire, and catches a group of bandits trying to steal cattle.  During a drought, Thunder Rose tries to lasso some clouds and get rain but is unsuccessful.  All of a sudden two tornadoes come out of nowhere and Thunder Rose must face off against them.  In the last few pages of the book, Rose faces off and triumphs  by harnessing the song in her heart, given to her parents so long ago.

This book is AMAZING.  Thunder Rose as a protagonist is smart, polite, and portrays a narrative that is not often seen.  In an Author’s Note in the beginning of the book, we are introduced to the concept of the American folktale and how little voices of color are heard.  In beautiful illustrations we get to know Rose and her larger than life attitude, as well as her strength and problem-solving skills.  Rose’s parents not only immediately accept her, but they celebrate her abilities and allow Rose to be exactly who she is. Having a role model like this for young girls, showing Rose outdoors wrestling wild rampaging steers and continuing to treat everyone with love and respect is an incredible message to send to a reader.  We highly recommend this book make its way to every bookshelf imaginable!

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you think Rose got so confident in her abilities?
  • What do you think life is like on a farm?
  • How can we be accepting of those around us like Rose’s parents are of her?
  • Think of someone in your life that supports you unequivocally, how does it make you feel?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn more about life in the Wild West! Often it is romanticized as a life full of grand adventures and beautiful sunsets while ignoring the harsher aspects of prairie life. What facts about living out in the West surprised you to learn?
  • Thunder Rose is a folktale, full of hyperbole. But what about the real cowgirls? Find out more about Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, and many more still around today!
  • In the book, Rose and her family raise cattle. What other animals live on the prairie? How do they all work together to create a successful ecosystem and how can we as people help sustain wildlife all over the world?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

20308234_thJerdine Nolen is the author of Thunder Rose! She received a B.A. in special education from Northeastern Illinois University and an M.Ed. in interdisciplinary arts education from Loyola University in Chicago. She has been an educator for a number of years as a classroom teacher, curriculum writer, staff developer, family involvement specialist, and administrator. She also enjoys lecturing on a variety of topics related to books and the writing process.

“In looking over the landscape that is my work so far, I think my stories are about possibilities—possible and impossible possibilities. Possibilities are sometimes born out of great needs.”

SITE BIO PHOTO2Kadir Nelson (b. 1974) is an American artist who currently exhibits his artwork in galleries and museums nationwide and abroad. His paintings are in the private and public permanent collections of several notable institutions including the Muskegon Museum of Art, The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the International Olympic Committee, and the US House of Representatives. Nelson has also authored and illustrated several award-winning NYT Best-Selling picture books including, “WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball” and “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.” Nelson states, “I feel that art’s highest function is that of a mirror, reflecting the innermost beauty and divinity of the human spirit; and is most effective when it calls the viewer to remember one’s highest self. I choose subject matter that has emotional and spiritual resonance and focuses on the journey of the hero as it relates to the personal and collective stories of people.“