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The Littlest Sled Dog
By author: Michael Kusugak   Illustrated by: Vladyana Krykorka
Selling Points: sled dogs, Inuit life, aspiration, the North, indigenous
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2010
Lexile Level: AD660L
Pages: 32
Picture Book
Price:  $10.95
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Igvillu said to herself, "When I grow up, I am going to be a St. Bernard."
She dreamed about running in the deep, pure-white snows of the Alps and rescuing skiers.
She dreamed of running, running so fast, chasing wolves with sleek Irish wolfhounds. She dreamed of hunting with dingoes in Australia.
She dreamed of splashing in clear waters fetching ducks with golden retrievers.
But most of the time she dreamed about pulling huge, heavy sleds with big huskies, way up north.

Igvillu is a little dog with big dreams. One of her favorite dreams is of becoming a sled dog. When Igvillu is adopted from her kennel by an Inuit storyteller and moves to northern Canada, she comes face-to-face with real sled dogs. Igvillu loves living in the North, chasing siksiks and dreaming about her future. She's a dog who believes anything is possible!
The Bookmark (BCTLA) - February 1, 2009
"An endearing story for elementary children... [that] subtly includes Inuit life, both in words and illustrated landscapes, as a way to introduce the reader to Inuit culture."
The Toronto Star - January 18, 2009
"Kusugak writes with sly irony, poking fun at the romantic fantasies of 'The North' that one finds in adventure stories...Igvillu is an endearing pooch and her master has a marked resemblance to Kusugak - something kids might enjoy noticing...Some Inuktitut words and explanations for Arctic features give the story added substance."
Tucson Unified School District - January 1, 2009
"A lovely story...My children loved this book as we own a Cairn and can totally relate to the dog's spunky personality. Recommended."
School Library Journal - January 1, 2009
"Dog lovers will enjoy this story of dreaming big and just may learn about life in Nunavut, as the story and illustrations contain details that can dispel misconceptions about life in the great Northern reaches of Canada."
Horn Book Magazine - January 1, 2009
"The story's sly confluence of fantasy and reality, tradition and modernity, is captured in Krykorka's candy-colored pictures that blithely swoop from Igvillu's dreams to the equally spectacular Nunavut landscape."
St. Albert Gazette - December 6, 2008
"This humble children's narrative is a great read and a visual treat for any child or parent."
The Georgia Straight - December 4, 2008
"Vladyana Krykorka's swirling, aurora-bright illustrations blend with a charming story for young children."
Quill & Quire - December 1, 2008
"[It] will appeal to young dog lovers, not only because Igvillu himself is so charming, but because his story evokes the essential conflict of childhood-the need to venture out into the big, cold world to explore, while never straying too far from the warmth and safety of home."
Resource Links - December 1, 2008
"This story is engaging and richly evocative of the Arctic landscape...a solid Canadian pick for all collections."
The Globe and Mail - November 22, 2008
"Delightful picture book."
CM Magazine - November 21, 2008
"A charming story that meshes the reality of life in the north and the imaginary world of a dreamy little pet. Kusugak writes fluently but manages to retain some of the cadence of a traditional storyteller. Krykorka's stunning illustrations evoke a world of the tundra in both summer and winter. Highly recommended."


Alcuin Design Award, winner  CA  2009
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2010

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