Arts & Culture | Indigenous | Reviews

A Winsome, Wonderful Window into Inuit Culture

Review of "In My Anaana’s Amautik."

In this sweet, gentle children’s picture book, Inuit writer and educator Nadia Sammurtok has realized her passion to preserve “the traditional Inuit lifestyle and Inuktitut language so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.” Her lyrical, repetitive, and informative narrative shows the traditional way a mother – an anaana – carried her baby in an amautik, the pouch in the back of a woman’s parka designed to carry a child. 

As the baby is sheltered in the amautik, readers experience the world from the child’s perspective: “In my anaana’s amautik, I feel warm. The warmth of her skin feels like sunshine, keeping me safe from the cold…. In my anaana’s amautik, I feel calm. Her scent reminds me of flowers in the summertime…. In my anaana’s amautik, it feels peaceful. Her breathing feels like ocean waves gently rolling in and out.” Again and again in the amautik, the child feels the connection with his mother, comparing how he feels to the beauty of nature.

Artist Lenny Lishchenko’s lovely earth-and-sky-tone illustrations depict a culture where people live close to each other and to nature. 

Young children and their parents or caregivers will find in In My Anaana’s Amautik a celebration of the love between a child and mother, and a winsome, wonderful window into Inuit culture.

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