*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

"Very Last First Time" by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Ian Wallace

As part of the I Love Picture Books Reading Challenge, I have been going to the shelves at my library and picking books at random. Mostly this has been a great system as I have picked up some books that I otherwise never would have read. I am so glad that Very Last First Time is one of the books that I picked because it is absolutely fascinating!  Eva and her mother have always done the Inuit tradition of going down below the ice at low tide to gather mussels, but this is the first time that she will be doing the gathering alone. As to be expected from a kid, she becomes distracted by the sites down below and soon faces danger when she realizes that the tide is beginning to come back in. There is quite a bit of exploring and just a tiny bit of scary in this fabulous book.

I didn't know anything about Jan Andrews' book before I read it I had no idea that going under the ice was even a thing. I was so captivated by this book because it truly amazed me what this group of people goes through to gather food. I don't see this book appealing to a young audience of kids, probably more to 2nd grade and up. Though it is a picture book, it has so much going for it. Despite it's location in the fiction section, there is a lot of education information in this book. In addition, Wallace's illustrations are beautiful. I highly recommend this book to teachers that are teaching their students about different cultures or different ways of life. Even if the reading level is low for said students, I think that the content it presents is a great starting place to spark in interest in the subject matter.
Happy Reading!

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