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Children's Fiction Dogs

The Littlest Sled Dog Read-Along

by (author) Michael Kusugak

illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka

read by Heather Gould

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2017
Dogs, Native Canadian, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


Igvillu is a little dog with big dreams. One of her favorite dreams is of becoming a sled dog. When Igvillu is adopted from her kennel by an Inuit storyteller and moves to northern Canada, she comes face-to-face with real sled dogs. Igvillu loves living in the North, chasing siksiks and dreaming about her future. She's a dog who believes anything is possible!

About the authors

MICHAEL KUSUGAK grew up in Repulse Bay, NWT (now Nunavut).During his childhood, his family travelled by dog sled, living a traditionalInuit lifestyle. He is the author of seven picture books, including NorthernLights: The Soccer Trails, winner of the Ruth Schwartz Award; Hide andSeek; My Arctic 1, 2, 3; and Baseball Bats for Christmas;and was co-writer of A Promise Is a Promise (with RobertMunsch). Michael Kusugak lives in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Michael Kusugak's profile page

Vladyana Krykorka has illustrated and designed over 30 books for children. Her work has received numerous awards, including the Toronto Public Library’s recognition of Baseball Bats for Christmas as one of the 100 best children’s books of all time. In the last two years she has conducted art workshops in several Quebec Arctic communities, working with Inuit teachers in the creation of their own books and class materials, as well as textile printmaking techniques.

Vladyana Krykorka's profile page

Heather Gould is an entrepreneur, artist and voice actor from Victoria, British Columbia.


Heather Gould's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Winner, Alcuin Design Award

Excerpt: The Littlest Sled Dog Read-Along (by (author) Michael Kusugak; illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka; read by Heather Gould)

Igvillu said to herself, "When I grow up, I am going to be a St. Bernard."
She dreamed about running in the deep, pure-white snows of the Alps and rescuing skiers.
She dreamed of running, running so fast, chasing wolves with sleek Irish wolfhounds. She dreamed of hunting with dingoes in Australia.
She dreamed of splashing in clear waters fetching ducks with golden retrievers.
But most of the time she dreamed about pulling huge, heavy sleds with big huskies, way up north.

Editorial Reviews

"Dog lovers will enjoy this story of dreaming big and just may learn about life in Nunavut, as the story and illustrations contain details that can dispel misconceptions about life in the great Northern reaches of Canada."

School Library Journal

"This humble children's narrative is a great read and a visual treat for any child or parent."

St. Albert Gazette

"Delightful picture book."

The Globe and Mail

"A lovely story...My children loved this book as we own a Cairn and can totally relate to the dog's spunky personality. Recommended."

Tucson Unified School District

"Kusugak writes with sly irony, poking fun at the romantic fantasies of 'The North' that one finds in adventure stories...Igvillu is an endearing pooch and her master has a marked resemblance to Kusugak - something kids might enjoy noticing...Some Inuktitut words and explanations for Arctic features give the story added substance."

The Toronto Star

"[It] will appeal to young dog lovers, not only because Igvillu himself is so charming, but because his story evokes the essential conflict of childhood-the need to venture out into the big, cold world to explore, while never straying too far from the warmth and safety of home."

Quill & Quire

"This story is engaging and richly evocative of the Arctic landscape...a solid Canadian pick for all collections."

Resource Links

"The story's sly confluence of fantasy and reality, tradition and modernity, is captured in Krykorka's candy-colored pictures that blithely swoop from Igvillu's dreams to the equally spectacular Nunavut landscape."

Horn Book Magazine

"Vladyana Krykorka's swirling, aurora-bright illustrations blend with a charming story for young children."

The Georgia Straight

"A charming story that meshes the reality of life in the north and the imaginary world of a dreamy little pet. Kusugak writes fluently but manages to retain some of the cadence of a traditional storyteller. Krykorka's stunning illustrations evoke a world of the tundra in both summer and winter. Highly recommended."

CM Magazine

"An endearing story for elementary children... [that] subtly includes Inuit life, both in words and illustrated landscapes, as a way to introduce the reader to Inuit culture."

The Bookmark (BCTLA)

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