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In the great frozen expanse of the high Arctic, Pani, a young Inuit girl, longs to be a great hunter of polar bears like her parents before her. But first, says Pani's grandmother, she must become a great fisher. The next day at the fishing hole, Pani hooks her first fish. In honor of her accomplishment her grandmother presents her with a special ivory fishing lure that once belonged to Pani's mother.Proud of her lure, Pani tells her friends that it is magic and someday she will be a great hunter. But they mock her, insisting that only men can become great hunters. Hurt by their jeers, Pani puts her hands over her ears and runs and runs. Before she knows it she is far out on the polar ice, where she encounters the pale shape of a wounded polar bear cub. Now she must decide whether to hunt or help. "It's all right, Nanook," she says to the weakened cub. "I will take care of you." Inspired by a traditional Inuit legend, The Polar Bear's Gift is about the compassion and resourcefulness of a young girl with ambitious dreams. It is Pani's trial and her triumph to discover that what makes a great hunter is not necessarily a straight aim. It is the lure of the heart on the cold arctic ice.
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Jeanne Bushey is a Red Deer Press author.From School Library Journal:
K-Gr 3-A story based on an Inuit legend. Pani's parents have died, and she longs to be a hunter, despite the fact that men are the hunters in her society. She meets a wounded polar bear cub out on the ice. She fishes for him and then is invited to his igloo. His mother rewards Pani's kindness with a bag that contains magic bits of fur that clothe, warm, and feed the child and her grandmother. Bushey's story reflects northern people's traditional respect for the animals that they have depended on for sustenance, but her telling does not set folkloric parameters for what may be a literal-minded audience. Without giving this context, it may be jarring for some to hear the cub and his mother speak to Pani. Krykorka's distinctive paintings are the strongest element in this story. The artist again uses her talent and Eastern-European training to create distinctive pink and lavender washes that look fantastic but are so typical of the northern skies and snowscapes. The polar bear has certainly captured the imagination of audiences at all latitudes, so this will be a potentially popular title in spite of its flaws.
Sue Sherif, Alaska State Library, Anchorage
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Red Deer Press, 2001. Condition: New. Vladyana Langer Krykorka (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0889952205