The Blizzard's Robe by Robert Sabuda
Oh the illustrations in this book are truly stunning. I find myself poring over them even when I'm reading it myself. There's a note on the copyright page that the artwork (an appropriate word) was created with batik and a description of how it works.
During the coldest part of winter, these people lived in almost total darkness because the angle of the sun, far to the south, just missed greeting their village each day. If the sun did rise above the horizon, it was only for a brief time, like a great whale rising to the surface of the sea for a quick breath.Isn't that lovely? In a few sentences, Mr. Sabuda has explained the darkness of winter in the Arctic and provided a wonderful simile for the brief times of sunlight, one that perfectly suits a story of the far north.
Teune, the only character in the book with a name, is a young girl with tremendous skills as a robemaker. When she accidentally burns Blizzard's robes, she seeks to make amends even though the villagers think she is a hero. It's a story of perseverance, dedication, development and practice of a useful skill, understanding, and charity.
I selected this to read to the girls while First Son was studying the Arctic. It was a perfect addition to our Reading Around the World in picture books.
Did I mention the illustrations are stunning?