Feast your eyes and ears on Inhabit Media’s latest releases

Singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer adapts the legend of The Fox Wife in new graphic novel

The Pencil, a new Inhabit Media release, was co-written by Susan Avingaq and Maren Vestula. (IMAGE COURTESY OF INHABIT MEDIA)

By Sarah Rogers

Looking for last-minute holiday gift ideas?

Nunavut’s Inhabit Media has a handful of new releases: vibrant adaptations of well-known Inuit legends and newer stories, penned by Nunavummiut and Nunavimmiut in Inuktitut and English.

The Fox Wife, adapted by Beatrice Deer, was illustrated by artist D. J. Herron. (IMAGE COURTESY OF INHABIT MEDIA)

The Origin of Day and Night introduces us to Tiri the Arctic fox, who thrives as a night-time hunter in the darkness of night, and his rival Ukaliq the Arctic hare, who needs the daylight to find her own food.

The two animals use their magic to summon lightness and darkness until they find a way to take turns, hence creating night and day.

The story is written by Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt, an elementary school teacher in Baker Lake and co-owner of Hinaani Designs, and illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko.

Takannaaluk is the story of Nuliajuk, a young woman who is fooled into marrying a seabird, and later betrayed by her own father, only to drown and find her new home at the bottom of the sea.

Takannaaluk, which means “the one down there,” is one of the many names for the famed Inuit goddess of the sea.

This version of the story, written by Igloolik elder Herve Paniaq, is illustrated with images painted by artist Germaine Arnaktauyok.

Inhabit Media’s newest release is Beatrice Deer’s adaptation of The Fox Wife.

The story follows the legend of a fox who falls from the sky and encounters her first humans. The fox follows the family for years, particularly their irniq, or son.

As the young man moves out on his own, the fox tries to pose as a woman, so as to become his wife.

This is the first Inhabit book written by Deer, the Quaqtaq-raised and now Montreal-based singer-songwriter. The graphic novel was illustrated by D. J. Herron.

The Pencil is the story of a family of three children who are looking for something to do in their igloo one day while their mother—a midwife—is out helping at a birth.

The children’s father pull out a rare and prized possession—a pencil. The three children take turns drawing their first words and images on a piece of paper.

As their father sharpens the pencil and it shrinks in size, the family realizes they will have to wait until they get to the trading post before they can get a new one.

The Pencil is written by Igloolik elder Susan Avingaq and co-written by Maren Vestula, the same pair who co-wrote the 2016 book Fishing with Grandma. The illustrations were done by Charlene Chua.

The Pencil is available now in Inuktitut, while the English version of the book will be released in April 2019.

Inhabit Media books are available online at its online store, on Amazon.ca and in select stores throughout Nunavut and Nunavik.

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