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Children's Fiction Native American

The Spirit of the Sea

by (author) Rebecca Hainnu

illustrated by Hwei Lim

Inhabit Media
Initial publish date
Nov 2014
Native American, Polar Regions, Native Canadian, Girls & Women
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2014
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2014
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


This beautifully illustrated picture books tells the story of the spirit of the sea, referred to as Nuliajuq, Sedna, Takannaaluk, and many other Inuktitut names.

Once a young woman who refused to marry, the lies and deceit of a treacherous bird and her own father's cowardice lead Nuliajuq to a life of solitude at the bottom of the ocean as the powerful, at times vengeful, spirit of the sea.
The Spirit of the Sea provides young readers with an authentic retelling of one of the most important, powerful legends in the canon of Inuit traditional stories.

About the authors

Rebecca Hainnu lives in Clyde River with her daughters, Katelyn and Nikita. Rebecca believes it is important to teach Inuit traditional knowledge about the land, animals, people, history, and philosophies. Her family is usually on the land throughout the seasons. She hopes to pass on some knowledge through her writing. Her work includes Edible and Medicinal Arctic Plants: An Inuit Elder’s Perspective, The Spirit of the Sea, A Walk on the Shoreline, Math Activities for Nunavut Classrooms, and Classifying Vertebrates. A Walk on the Tundra, co-authoured with Anna Ziegler, was a finalist for the 2013 Canadian Children’s Literature Round Table Information Book Award, and was among the 2012 “Best Books for Kids and Teens,” as selected by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Rebecca is an educator in a K–12 school. She was the recipient of the 2016 NTA Award for Teaching Excellence.

Rebecca Hainnu's profile page

Hwei Lim a étudié en génie, travaillé en informatique et en conseil aux entreprises, et est maintenant illustratrice de bandes dessinées et d’autres histoires. Ses œuvres récemment publiées comprennent les illustrations du livre The Spirit of the Sea, le premier volume de Spera et la collection d’histoires Boris & Lalage. Hwei vit en Malaisie.


Hwei Lim's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A popular Inuit cautionary legend, featuring a haughty young woman and a gruesome climactic twist."—Kirkus

"The text, which is appropriate for upper elementary readers and above, is meant to be read aloud and generally has the sound of a traditional storyteller’s voice. The watercolours by Hwei Lim are beautiful and ethereal. The Spirit of the Sea is highly recommended for elementary school libraries, public libraries and libraries specializing in Canadian Indigenous materials."—Deakin Review

"The Spirit of the Sea would be great for reading aloud, independent reading and comparing to other indigenous legends."—Canadian Teacher

Other titles by Rebecca Hainnu

Other titles by Hwei Lim

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