Book review/suggested reading: How Things Came to Be: Inuit Stories of Creation

This was originally a footnote to the last post, but just before publishing I removed it, deciding to make it into a separate post, for better readability. (Blorgizational progress! ;))


How Things Came to Be: Inuit Stories of Creation, by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, Patricia Ann Lewis-MacDougall (Illustrations), Emily Fiegenschuh (Illustrations), 2015, published by Inhabit Media.

I cannot recommend this book enough, for anyone who understands, or who wants to understand more about, inherent power within the landscape we inhabit, and the way human beings’ access to it has dwindled over time, as well as subtle tips for regaining it. Like any better-known children’s creation-stories collection, it’s an easy-to-digest series of myths, but with lessons based in fact.

I’ve been reading it to the younger kids in the evenings. When I first bought it a couple of years ago, Y, now aged 11, and Z, aged 8, did not like the book much, preferring near-endless repeats of Curious George (🙈 🙉 🙊- Y), and science manuals (🥱😴 🥴! – Z), but now they’re both entranced by it. Reading one chapter at bedtime has been the perfect way to end a day. Beautiful illustrations, too.

In my own recent ramblings, “Grand Sky” is a phrase I’ve taken from this book, along with occasional capitalization of the word “land.” (Which is how this 400-word post started as a footnote to my last post — OCD/OTT urges to give credit where credit is due. ;))

I agree with the these four-and-five-star reviews, at the top of the Goodreads book listing:

“May 01, 2018 Elizabeth rated it really liked it (4 stars) · review of another edition
“Shelves: women-writers, short-stories-novellas-anthologies, middle-grade, indigenous-writers-or-artists, canadian-authors-or-literature
“Another Inhabit Media collection of traditional Inuit stories! This one tells the origin stories for day and night, sun and moon, thunder and lightning, caribou, malicious wind, sea spirits, and more. The storytelling is lively, and the illustrations are beautiful.
“Recommended for middle graders especially, but to everyone in general!”

“Aug 03, 2017 Ian Carpenter rated it it was amazing (5 stars)
“Love this illustrated collection of classic Inuit creation stories. Many I’ve read before but Qitsualik-Tinsley breathes a life into them that I’ve not seen before. Illustrations perfect for kids and YA as well.”

“Apr 02, 2018 Guiana rated it really liked it (4 stars) · review of another edition
“This was more fascinating than I had expected. I thought it would only be just a bunch of kids’ stories but these ones speak to even the oldest and experienced, both with books and life.”

copied here from:

Click the Goodreads link above, to find the Amazon and/or other seller links of your country/choice.

Happy reading!

xo N


Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Auvergne, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎



3 thoughts on “Book review/suggested reading: How Things Came to Be: Inuit Stories of Creation

    1. Hmmm, I would say no. But it depends on the kid and kind of stuff they’ve been exposed to, whether online or off. As usual I willy-nilly review a book in the middle of reading it (or in this case, re-reading it), and after this review we read the second half of the book, which gets darker. It talks of nothing that doesn’t happen in some way or other in real life, but some of the themes are disturbing. I have a low tolerance for anything dark in fiction; I feel this book avoids going into overly terrible detail while still making it clear that bad stuff happens and there is a consequence within the world at large. My 11 year old loves it, my 8yo silently read his own book during the last stories, listening but not fully, of his own accord.
      Hope this helped a bit, very glad you asked, actually, in case others who happen here can benefit from this too. So thank you. :))


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