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Children's Fiction Native Canadian

The Story of the Lemming and the Owl

Bilingual Inuktitut and English Edition

by (author) Jaypeetee Arnakak

illustrated by Yong Ling Kang

Arvaaq Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Native Canadian, Polar Regions, Values & Virtues, General
Recommended Age
3 to 6
Recommended Grade
p to 1
Recommended Reading age
3 to 6
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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The lemming may be tiny...but his smarts are larger than life! Can he outsmart the mighty owl?

An owl swoops down to eat the lemming for a snack. But the lemming is smart and has a plan to trick the boastful owl. How will the lemming escape into his den? Find out in this well-known Inuit traditional story that has been simplified for younger readers to enjoy.

About the authors

Jaypetee is an Inuit linguist (one of only two Inuit linguists in Canada), and Inuit educator. Most of Jaypetee's career has been about the Inuit language. At Nunavut Tunngavik and later at Qikiqtani Inuit Association, he served as an Inuit Language and Education policy analyst and engaged in Inuit language and education discourse at the regional, territorial, and national levels as an analyst, commentator and advocate for Inuit language and education rights. He has also worked for the Nunavut Arctic College as an Adult Basic Education instructor, an Inuit Language instructor, and as an instructor for the Interpreter/Translator Program. He currently works full-time for Inhabit Education, Toronto Office, as a Senior Inuit Language Advisor and is involved in Nunavut curriculum development and as a designer/deliverer of Inuit language courses. He was also recently appointed as an executive director for NBES.

Jaypeetee Arnakak's profile page

YONG LING KANG is an illustrator who grew up in Singapore and is now based in Toronto, Ontario. She is fascinated by storytelling, and has honed her craft through picture books, Manga, cartoons, and formal schooling in an animation program. She has illustrated several picture books, including The Midnight Club, This House Is Home, and William's Getaway.


Yong Ling Kang's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Prey outwits predator in this brief fable adaptation from Arnakak, presented in Inuktitut and English. The story unfolds with short, simple sentences: “The owl is young./ He is powerful.// The lemming is small./ He is smart.” While the lemming eats lunch outside its den, the hungry owl arrives and intimidates—its black talons reach for the brown rodent, depicted with a look of fear. Unable to escape into the den, the lemming tries tricking its antagonist with flattery (“You are a good hunter”), and it works—with each compliment, the bird dances a little harder, eventually becoming so distracted that the clever mammal can run to safety. Providing energy to straightforward text, Kang’s lightly adorned scenes portray the expressive owl as it spins, while music notes emanating from the lemming’s open mouth fill page after page.

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