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Tanna’s Owl is a semi-autobiographical book based on a true story from the author’s life.
When Tanna’s father brings home an abandoned owl, she is not eager to take care of the needy, ugly little bird.
Tanna must wake at 4:00 a.m. to catch food for the owl. She must feed it, clean up after it, all while avoiding its sharp, chomping beak and big, stomping talons.
After weeks of following her father’s instructions on how to care for the owl, Tanna must leave home for school. Her owl has grown. It has lost its grey baby feathers and is beginning to sprout a beautiful adult snowy owl coat.
As she says good-bye to the owl, she is relieved not to have to care for it anymore, but also a bit sad. This heartwarming story teaches young readers the value of hard work, helping, and caring―even when the thing you are caring for does not love you back.
"Based on Burt Award–winning, Inuit-Cree author Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley’s childhood memories of growing up on Baffin Island, this outstanding picture book shares essential teachings on the importance of responsibility, patience, and respect."― Quill & Quire, STARRED review
Framed by Rachel’s greeting, Tanna’s Owl is rooted in lived experience and celebrates the interconnectedness of Arctic ecology. Yong Ling Kang’s warm illustrations depict sweeping Arctic landscapes and vast skies. Despite frustrations, Tanna’s dedication to raising Ukpik teaches children that caring for something outside oneself is valuable and worthwhile. Tanna’s relationship with Ukpik also emphasizes the importance of respectfully engaging with nature and learning from the creatures with which we share our planet.
Tanna’s Owl is a poignant and uplifting read that will inspire all who read it to be better stewards of the environment.
Tanna's Owl by Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley
Reading age: 6-8 years
Dimensions: 22.8 x 25.4 cm
Publisher: Inhabit Media
Born in an Arctic wilderness camp and of Inuit ancestry, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley is a scholar specializing in world religions and cultures. Her numerous articles and books concerning Inuit magic and lore have earned her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Of Scottish-Mohawk ancestry, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley is a folklorist and fantasist, specializing in mythology, magic, and Inuit lore. He has won an award for writing short science fiction (“Green Angel”), but his focus is on fiction and non-fiction for a young audience.
Illustrator Yong Ling Kang was raised in Singapore. She is now based in Toronto, Ontario.