Sunday, December 13, 2020

Highly Recommended! "Seasons of Alaska" board books from Best Beginnings Alaska

Let's Play Out! by Yaari Toolie-Walker
Button Up! by Angela Y. Gonzales
Mittens and Mukluks! by Joni Spiess
Bye-Bye Ice! by Carla Snow
Published by Best Beginnings Alaska in 2020
Reviewed by Debbie Reese
Review Status: Highly Recommended

With delight, I'm here today to tell you about four board books that came out in 2020 from Best Beginnings Alaska. The four books are about the seasons. I'm sharing them with you in December of 2020. So--I am starting with winter, by Joni Spiess (Inupiaq):

And here's spring, by Carla Snow (Yup'ik Upper):

Here is summertime, by Yaari Toolie-Walker (Siberian Yupik):

And here is fall, by Angela Y. Gonzales (Koyukon Athabascan):

This photograph is from "Athabaskan Woman" -- which is Angela Y. Gonzales's website. Go read her post! It has information about the book series: 

I adore these books! Of course, I'm going to add them to our Best Books of 2020 list!

The photographs of Alaska Native children doing things indoors and out that are specific to being an Alaska Native child--and doing the things that children do, no matter where they are, are heart-warming. As I read Mittens and Mukluks! I paused on the page that shows a child in a traditional coat that "Aana made for me." In smaller print is "Aana is Inupiaq for grandmother." I like seeing Native words in books, so that particular page is another reason I am so drawn to the books. 

And hey! Many children who receive books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Alaska may already have them! How cool is that? Add them to your next book order. 

1 comment:

Katie Strand said...

I received these books last year when they were release and whole-heartedly agree! I'm a preschool and Kindergarten teacher on the North Slope of Alaska, my students are all Iñupiaq and it can be so so hard to find great books set in the Arctic (with the exception of Inhabit Media)! My students like them but are quickly done with them as they really are geared for toddlers and infants - I hope these ladies have more projects in the works!
An interesting side note is that whenever I hear people use the word aana they are referring to an auntie (most frequently a great-aunt). In the village where I live people commonly say aaka when referring to their grand-mother - even though the dictionary definition of aaka is mother.

Katie Strand