Under the Ice
by Rachel A. Qitsualik
illustrated by Jae Korim
Inhabit Media Inc., 2012
$9.95, 32 pp, ages 8 – 16
In a beautiful merging of traditional and contemporary storytelling, this amazing part of Inuit mythology has been illustrated in comic book style. Sure to capture any reader or listener’s attention, the tale begins with an old woman who is responsible for caring for her grandson. One day she reaches a point of frustration at their poverty and starvation, and so she curses her grandson wishing that a qallupiluq (a monster which lives under the ice) will take him away from her. When this happens, she is sad beyond description. The young boy, however, seems happier with his new family under the ice than he ever seemed in his grandmother’s iglu. It took many brave attempts for hunters to finally outsmart the qallupiluit and bring the boy home to the village to live with the hunter who rescued him. Every great story has a moral, and this one outlines that “Those who face adversity, who survive the strangest experiences in life, often turn out to be the most interesting of us all.”
Classroom Connections: Teachers can use this book to introduce myths and legends, and to teach prereading strategies for comic books and graphic novels: the illustrations are wonderful for predicting and inferring.
Review by Amanda Forbes.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2013 issue.