Jake and Kamik are finally ready to run their first dog sled race with a full team! But there is a lot to do to prepare, and Jake must follow his uncle’s lead if he and his dogs are going to be ready for the early spring race.
Kamik Takes the Lead is the fourth installment in the Kamik series of books following Kamik: An Inuit Puppy Story, Kamik’s First Sled, and Kamik Joins the Pack. Books in this series share traditional dog-rearing practices and dog-training techniques from the remote community of Arviat, Nunavut, through the life memories of community members. These books preserve the rich history of working dogs in Nunavut and celebrate the traditional bond between Inuit and their sled dogs.
Building on the dog-training practices outlined in Kamik Joins the Pack, Arviat, Nunavut, author and dog musher Darryl Baker shares with young readers the basic information needed to prepare a dog team for a race.
is a teacher in Arviat, Nunavut. He was born in Churchill, Manitoba, and raised in Arviat. In 2006, Darryl graduated from the Nunavut Teacher Education Program, along with other Inuit from the same community, and he has been teaching at the Levi Angmak Elementary School since. Besides his career as a teacher, he enjoys dog mushing and has been an active participant in Hudson Bay Quest and other dog team races between Rankin and Arviat. He started raising dogs as a young man, picking up interest from his late brother-in-law, Bernie Sulurayok. As a young boy, he often went hunting for seals at the floe edge with his brother-in-law. He eventually started raising dogs on his own, spending quality time with them and bonding strongly, gaining respect. Today he is still actively mushing and hopes to pass it on to his twin boys.
has worked as a full-time illustrator in educational children's literature since getting her degree in illustration from Sheridan College. She's had the opportunity to work on a variety of unique projects outside of book illustration ranging from designing puppet concepts and assisting on set building to working with musicians and artists to design CDs and promotions. Currently living in Toronto, she spends a lot of time drinking iced coffee and making new dog friends.
"This book does a really good job in showing the traditional knowledge that has been passed through families and generations in Nunavut as well as the special relationship between Inuit people and their sled dogs. There are many more subtle lessons in this book as well, like respect, patience, the value of hard work and responsibility.
"The illustrations in this book are done by a different illustrator than the previous book, but they are equally as beautiful. The characters are a little softer with bolder lines, but the markings on Kamik are consistent with the previous book, and the overall style is very similar. The seasons are clearly shown by the presence or absence of snow, contrasting the brown and green earth below. As in the previous books, the text is a grey colour and a little bit light. The font is a hand-written style which might be difficult to follow for a young child first learning to read. However, Kamik Takes the Lead would be an excellent addition to any school, community or personal library, particularly in Canada, for children to learn about Inuit culture."
— CM Magazine