Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story, adapted from the memories of Donald Uluadluak, illustrated by Qin Leng

This book is the first in a planned series by Donald Uluadluak, an Inuit elder and retired advisor to the Nunavut Department of Education, which is intended to tell stories of the ways of the past for today’s children. In this one, Jake is having trouble with his disobedient puppy Kamik while visiting his grandfather. The grandfather is drawn by this to tell Jake about how the women trained the puppies when he was a young hunter, and how his sled-dogs helped him when he was out on the land. Jake goes home for supper carrying a still-disobedient Kamik, but determined to devote more time to working with his puppy and to someday have a sled team of his own. The illustrations by Qin Leng show both the present of Jake and Kamik in the grandfather’s living room, Kamik all cheerful husky exuberance, and the past that is being described, with scenes of the hunter and his dogs. In the end, Jake is inspired by his grandfather’s story to work harder with his puppy; the advice to “build trust with the dog, living with it every day and teaching it through how you behave and how you treat it” is good counsel any young dog owner might take to heart, with or without ambitions for a sled-team of their own.