Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Sweetest Kulu

Kalluk, Celina (Author)
Neonakis, Alexandria (Illustrator)
Inhabit Media 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781927095775 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

figurative language

Award

USBBY Outstanding International Books List – 2015

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this poetic story by Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, baby Kulu is welcomed into the Arctic world by the animals that inhabit it. Kulu’s mother narrates the story, telling him of the many animals that visited him right after his birth to introduce him to the wonders of the world he has just entered.

Each verse explains the gift an animal offered to Kulu and makes a connection to a personal characteristic. Kulu’s mother tells him: “Muskox shared heritage and empowerment with you, magnificent Kulu, showing you how to protect what you believe in.” The evocative language succinctly describes each animal in a sentence, then connects the animal and baby to the larger world and his future. Polar bear has “powerful instinct” and makes him “modest and kind;” fox is “thoughtful and swift” and tells the baby “to help anyone who may need help along your way.”

Soft yet vivid illustrations showcase the beauty of Arctic landscapes and their varied fauna and flora. The animal descriptions convey a deep respect for the natural world. The tale will spark curiosity about the Arctic, the region, the traditions and the culture of its indigenous people.

  •  What do you know about the day you were born? Share personal experiences of how your birth was celebrated.
  •  Do a picture walk. Where is the story set? How do you know?
  •  

    As you read, list the adjectives used to describe Kulu.

  •  Think of an animal that might have given you one of your traits. Write and draw to share your thinking.
  •  

    Brainstorm how newborns are greeted in different cultures and religions. What happens in your family?

  •  Take notes of the gifts Kulu receives from each animal.
  •  

    Use teacher-created gift cards inspired by the book (animal on one side, gift on the other) to honour yourself Nunavut style and to recognize the characteristics of other students. (“You are a Narwhal for your spontaneity and an Arctic Hare for the love you have to give.”)

  •  

    Create a totem pole with the animals and gifts you have received. Add qualities you have but did not receive from others. Share with peers.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture