Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 6 to 8
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Reading age: 6 to 8
Akuluk is visiting her family in Nunavut and can’t wait to get out on her uncle’s boat for a ride into the powerful Arctic Ocean. Surrounded by her family, and with her trusty toy polar bear beside her, Akuluk experiences the beautiful sights, sounds, and animals that abound in the ocean and along the shore during the short Arctic summer—from a mother polar bear and her cubs to a family of belugas and tiny Arctic fox kits. As they encounter each animal, Akuluk’s aunt and uncles share with her how each species cares for its young, and how they protect their babies from the other animals who share their ecosystem.
This beautiful story of family connection and respect for the natural world teaches young readers how close humans are to our animal counterparts and that caring for the environment in which we live is one of our most important responsibilities
About the authors
Suzie Napayok-Short was born in Iqaluit, NT. At the time, her father worked with the Canadian teams at the early northern Distant Early Warning (DEW) Defense sites. Eventually they moved to Southampton Island, the one place located between the Baffin and the Kivalliq regions, with wildlife and sea mammals surrounding the island and the area. Each spring meant the sea ice begins slowly disappearing for the season of summer and wildlife would abound with the return of the many different breeding birds ranging from geese to peregrine falcons, the thick-billed murres, to the sandpipers. The whales are also back. She grew up in this tradition during her childhood. Suzie authored two other children’s books along with Wild Eggs that was nominated for a Silver Birch award as her first children’s book in 2017. She lives in Yellowknife, NWT and bases most of her stories on legends she learned throughout her childhood and her own experiences with wildlife.
Tamara Campeau’s illustration journey began at Dawson College, where she earned her associate degree in illustration and design. Shortly after, she furthered her studies at Sheridan College, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in illustration with honours. Tamara works digitally to bring stories to life through her painterly illustrations. Her work has a strong sense of lighting and vibrant colour palettes, along with dynamic compositions. She loves creating endearing characters with a strong sense of personality and emotion. Her work is inspired by wildlife, children, and the environments they reside in. She uses this inspiration to add a layer of realism to her illustrations. When she’s not at her desk, she can be found breaking a sweat at the local gym or exploring nature with her standard poodle, Peanut.
- Short-listed, First Nation Communities Read Awards
"Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer delivers plenty of entertaining content and a worthy message that speaks to the role of family and the importance of our link to nature. Young readers who will readily identify with Akuluk will understand the value of respecting the environment and enjoying all it has to show us. Highly Recommended"—CM Magazine
"An information-rich tale of reciprocity between Arctic families and the natural world."—Kirkus Reviews
"Kits, Cubs, and Calves: An Arctic Summer goes beyond summer and gives a picture of life in the arctic for its people, its animals and the land, and it's a great place to visit through Suzie Napayok-Short and Tamara Campeau's work."—CanLit for Little Canadians
"I love the way this book blends Inuktitut and cultural knowledge into the story seamlessly, teaching words and traditions to the reader as the story progresses. Reverence and appreciation for nature is at the forefront of this tale, and the book is very text-heavy making it perfect for older readers."—The Tiny Activists
Other titles by Suzie Napayok-Short
Other titles by Tamara Campeau
Maakusie Loves Music
The Girl Who Danced with Giants