PreS-Gr 4 –This expertly translated Spanish-language edition of Tuktuk: Tundra Tale is one readers will not soon forget. Tuktuk is one crafty collard lemming—no jumping off cliffs for him! The Arctic winter is fast approaching, and he needs to gather stray musk oxen fur to insulate his burrow. Providence is on his side as an Inuit trader and his barking sled team rush past at a high speed, dislodging a fur-lined kamik. The boot lands in front of a delighted Tuktuk, but his joy is short-lived as one by one several animals come upon him and his newfound boot. The polar bear, arctic fox, and caribou all think that the boot is just the thing for the coming winter. Instead of fighting each of his much larger neighbors for the kamik, Tuktuk cleverly makes sneaky suggestions to the gullible animals in order to keep the boot for himself. His strategy is a success, and the animals leave him hibernating in his warm nest—peace at last. Saroff’s illustrations are bright and lushly detailed, from Tuktuk’s cheeky expressions to the disgruntled look on the polar bear’s face when he realizes that wearing a kamik on his nose is not how he wishes to spend the long Arctic night. Back matter features scientific information on the Arctic seasons, the animals described within the story, the unique atmospheric phenomena over the North Pole, and a glossary that includes Inuit terminology. VERDICT A top pick for Spanish-language collections for the quality of the translation and the kid-friendly humor.–Mary Margaret Mercado, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ
Clever Tuktuk deals with Putak, the polar bear, Aput, the Arctic fox, and Masak, the caribou, in turn. Each animal desires the kamik at first, but Tuktuk tricks them into trying on the kamik in an unlikely way, convincing them that they did not need a furry kamik after all. in the end, Tuktuk curls up alone in his furry kamik winter home and gave a happy sigh, saying,"perfect! One furry kamik is just right for a collard lemming!'' Through the story's narrative, features and animals of the Arctic are highlighted and demonstrated. At the end of the book, the For Creative Minds section includes more information on polar seasons, Arctic skies, Arctic vocabulary (including Inuit vocabulary, weather vocabulary, and geologic vocabulary), and Life in the Cold, Animal Fun Facts. This is an excellent, educational, and appealing series for readers between the ages of four and eight years.
The plot of this book is simple. A furry kamik (boot) falls off a driver's sled in the Arctic. Tuktuk, a lemming, outwits other Arctic animals and ends up with the kamik for its nest.
Collared lemming Tuktuk discovers the perfect winter bedding: a fur-lined kamik (Inuit boot). As Tuktuk drags it to his burrow, a polar bear, an Arctic fox, and a caribou all want the boot for themselves.
While reading Tuktuk – Tundra Tale, we had been reading about the tundra habitat in our science lessons. We had also watched a special on how the animals in these areas have learned to adjust to their habitat. The story of Tuktuk the collared lemming explains how animals work to get ready for winter. It’s the story of survival of all animals, and the struggles that they face in this harsh environment. Caty absolutely loved this story. I loved how easily it kept our learning going and brought what can be dry science material into a sweet story.
I really liked TukTuk: Tundra Tale, but one of my favorite parts is at the end of the book. At the end there are arctic animal facts, an explanation about seasons in the arctic, and vocabulary to help you learn more about the words used in the book. I had read another book about a dog named Kamik, and this book taught me that the dog is named after the waterproof boot that Inuits wear. The illustrations are beautiful and give so much detail about what these animals look like.
-Reviewed by Jewel, Age 8
At first, adult readers might see comparisons to Jan Brett’s The Mitten, but similarities don’t materialize. Saroff’s digital and oil paintings are realistic and pair nicely with the text. This sweet story would work as a bedtime story, but the book can also be a source for facts for a simple nature lesson. How so? After the story, there are pages of interesting facts about the Arctic sky, Polar seasons, the animals, and vocabulary. The bibliography contains other relevant informational books for young readers. Parents and teachers are given permission to copy the informational section of the book that align with national and state science standards.
-Submitted by: J.B. Petty
Tuktuk: Tundra Tale written by Robin Currie and illustrated by Phyllis Saroff is a fictional story about the animals of the tundra and how they must prepare for the long winter. A lemming finds a lost boot and he wants it to line his nest. The problem is all the bigger animals he encounters on the way home want it too. He will have to be smarter than them if he wants to keep it all to himself. It is fun to read about all the different animals and it is a pleasure to browse the illustrations. Every time I see the northern lights (even in a drawing) it makes me want to go there some day!
While reading this book, even I was schooled on definitions and vocabulary. For instance, I learned that there's such a thing as a collared lemming. It's a rodent that turns completely white in winter. Tuktuk: Tundra Tale stars a collared lemming named, appropriately, Tuktuk who happens upon a kamik. (That's another word I also learned. A kamik is a waterproof boot.) A bear, a fox, and a caribou come across Tuktuk at different times and try to use the kamik themselves, for their body to keep warm. In the end, it's learned that the kamik fits just right for Tuktuk.
The "For Creative Minds" section in the back of the book further educates readers with information on the Polar Seasons and Arctic Skies. There's also Cold Animal Fun Facts and an Arctic Vocabulary. Just a few definitions learned in the vocabulary include what Masak, frost boils, and a pingo are. It's a cute book that will give kids an idea of life in the tundra.
This is such a great book! My two-year-old loves the pictures and repeating the fun words and sounds. My older child enjoys the story about how clever Tuktuk is. I love that it isn’t your typical story; it is set in a unique location with animals that usually aren’t in most children’s books. The vocabulary and information on the arctic in the back is such a great addition to expand on your child’s knowledge of other cultures.
Great book for families to read together! Beautifully illustrated with a meaningful story. Plus a glossary of sorts in the back the goes more into depth about Arctic culture and native words. Would also be good as an in-school book for k-3.
A sweet story of a clever collard lemming. Adorable illustrations. Interesting fact guide in the back.
Children and adults will be swept up into the majestic landscapes of the arctic and be charmed by the savvy, adorable, and slightly devious little TukTuk, the collard lemming. The story is a wonderful way to teach children about the animals of the arctic and the world they live in.
What I like about the book: Instead of arguing with other animals, Tuktuk becomes the trickster. Yes, the kamik is a perfect fit on the polar bear's nose, or the arctic fox's tail... even the moose. But the fit is less than perfect.