Nadia Sammurtok and Lenny Lishchenko swaddle their readers in the cozy ambience of an amautik in this gentle, comforting picture book. The infant narrator uses understandable comparisons to detail the pouch in the back of their mother's parka, inviting the audience to share in their contentment as pre-readers learn about this intimate bond-building element of child rearing in Inuit culture.
Warm and secure, soft and calm, the amautik provides an inviting transition between womb and independence. The baby explains, "The protection of the hood around me is like my own tiny iglu. I love peeking out from inside my anaana's amautik." The child-carrier gives its occupant a view of the world from the comforting safety of parental closeness. Inuit educator and writer Summurtok's descriptions are vivid and charming, the amautik presented so invitingly that young readers may request one of their own. Accompanied by Lenny Lishchenko's bold, bright illustrations, the story will wash its audience in calm and peacefulness. The strong texture and line of the rising sun, a page full of cottongrass or a spread depicting a rolling wave spark the senses and depict "the traditional Inuit lifestyle" with a welcoming intimacy. And the overall playfulness of the art seems designed to tickle the imagination of young and old alike.
In My Anaana's Amautik is a sweet peek into the Inuit baby pouch, complete with a small glossary defining the Inuktitut words used. Adults and the little ones to whom they are reading can bond within the glow of this cultural gem as it hugs them in an atmosphere of love. --Jen Forbus, freelancer