Tuesday, June 30, 2009
My kids grew up with a dog-eared copy of the Cartwright and Gill classic, Alaska ABCs. They were born and raised in Alaska, and the book taught them a lot about the place they called home. Back then, there weren't many titles with that kind of relevance for them.
Boy, has that changed. The shelves of our bookstores now overflow with Alaskan children's books. Among the winners are two new titles from Sasquatch Books: Cherie Stihler's Wiggle-Waggle Woof, and Andrea Helman's Caribou Crossing.
Wiggle-Waggle Woof, a sled dog counting book, is illustrated by Michael Bania of Homer. Stihler's language, as always, is animated and delightful. The excitement of preparing for a sled dog race spills over into the fun of counting up to fifteen and down for the start. A two-page supplement on mushing gives parents and teachers plenty to discuss with young readers.
Colorful photos by Art Wolfe accompany Helman's text in Caribou Crossing, featuring animals of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The book is brimming with information about the refuge, where "the wild remains in wilderness." It's a timely offering that will help kids, their parents, and teachers understand all that makes ANWR special.