The Dreaded Ogress of the Tundra, by Neil Christopher, illustrated by Larry MacDougall
What the book’s about
Inuit stories of powerful ogresses who prey on children and lone travelers have been passed down orally through generations in the Arctic. Despite their size, these gruesome, child-snatching creatures are stealthy, sneaking up on unsuspecting victims and carrying them back to underground lairs. Once caught, the only course of action is to outsmart them. But the best defense is to avoid getting caught in the first place. The Dreaded Ogress of the Tundra brings these Inuit tales to life with detailed renderings, starting with an introduction to the “amautalik,” the ancient spirit of the Arctic land, and ending with a look at other formidable Arctic creatures.
Inhabit Media is an Inuit publisher and brings young readers authentic and accessible stories from Inuit culture.
Activity: Amautalik Identification
For kindergarten to 2nd grade, by Jessica Young
- Colored pencils
After reading The Dreaded Ogress of the Tundra, ask kids to list, either on paper themselves or through a group board you record, as many characteristics of the amautalik as they can. Be sure to prompt for the inclusion of details about their physical appearance, habitat, and behavior.
Each child can then draw an example of an amautalik using pencils and colored pencils. Ask them to label the physical features, including style of dress and accessories/tools.
Kids can make a poster or write and videotape a public service message about the dangers of the amautalik, including how to spot them, and how to escape if captured.