Near another country to our south and stretching north to Nunavut; I have always appreciated other cultures but could only glimpse the Inuit at a distance. Any painting or soapstone I ever saw entailed hunting; something that goes against the soul of someone who considers animals my equals. I am excited to discover <b>Michael Kusugak & Vladyana Krykorka</b>, who have created books where that topic dips no further than fishing. At last I was free to explore a personal introduction! I poured over “<b>A Promise Is A Promise</b>”, 1988 and <i>“Hide And Sneak”</i>, 1992 enthusiastically! I hung on every word and image, illustrated in the most magical style I have ever seen, that is all at once serene.
How <b>Vladyana</b> depicted numerous mythical creatures in motion, inside a small room, is befuddling. Never have I seen ice and sky hold so much colour. Snow scenes are familiar to me but these special vistas are very much this family’s milieu. Eldest daughter of five, <i>Allashua</i> is warned to visit a lake instead of the sea, because <i>Qallupilluit</i> lurk in its crevasses. How wonderful that they live at walking distance from both. I enjoyed the modern house, loving parents, and gorgeous Mother who couldn’t be more than forty-five years old. The <i>Qallupilluit</i> do strike and Mother addresses them from that nearby sea. My favourite illustration is of her so elegantly dancing, in modern dress, among feared creatures.
What most impressed upon me is the parents’ calmness. <i>Allashua</i> told them precisely what transpired. Unlike most tales, no secret was kept to avoid being scolded. Her parents were allies. They never shouted about a mistake or predicament. They lovingly brainstormed how they could solve it. They dried her after she fell through ice and coordinated an intelligent plan, to ward off dangerous mythical entities.