Kumak's River: A Tale Tale From The Far North by Michael BaniaKumak's River: A Tale Tale From The Far North by Michael Bania

Kumak's River: A Tale Tale From The Far North

byMichael Bania

Picture Books | September 15, 2012

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In the Arctic, before winter gives way to buds and flowers, breakup occurs—the moment when the ice of a frozen river suddenly breaks apart in a spectacular sight-and-sound show. Massive chunks of ice crunch and pound against one another, pushing their way down river towards the sea. ‘“That river will come to visit us today,” said Kumak. The water starts rising. It spills out of the river banks, up over the sandy beach, and begins flowing up past the fish racks and boats. As the waters sweep through his village, Kumak and his family take refuge on the roof of his house. “Look!” said Kumak’s wife, “There goes Uncle Aglu’s oil drum.” “Look!” said Kumak’s wife’s mother, “There goes Aana Lulu’s fish tubs and net floats!” “Look!” said Kumak’s sons and daughters, “There goes Little Nate’s basketball!”’ Just as Kumak and his family are feeling all is lost, “just like someone pulled a plug in a bathtub”, the water recedes. “Just in time!” shout the villagers. “What has the river done with our things!”’In an effort to recover as many of their belonging as possible, Kumak and the village practice the value of community and working together. In this light-hearted, playful adventure, the villagers show respect for nature’s immense power as Kumak brings them together to rescue their supplies, toys, household goods, and, finally, Kumak’s dogs. Through lively art, humorous text, and informative endnotes, author Michael Bania conveys authentic details on Inupiat village life and provides young readers with a fascinating window into another culture as the life of hapless, yet lovable Kumak continues. Bania’s first book, KUMAK'S HOUSE was a 2003 Children's Book Council Notable Trade Book in Social Studies. Her second book, KUMAK’S FISH was a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, 2005 Children’s Book Council. Both books were chosen for the Alaska Association of School Libraries “Battle of the Books” for First Grade.  KUMAK’S FISH was an honor book for the first Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award.

Bania lived for almost 20 years above the Arctic Circle.
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Title:Kumak's River: A Tale Tale From The Far NorthFormat:Picture BooksProduct dimensions:32 pages, 8.3 × 10 × 0.2 inShipping dimensions:8.3 × 10 × 0.2 inPublished:September 15, 2012Publisher:West Margin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0882408879

ISBN - 13:9780882408873

Reviews

From the Author

"This sunny sequel to Kumak's House (2002) and Kumak's Fish (2004, both Alaska Northwest) centers on spring in a remote Alaskan village, when the ice on the frozen river cracks and breaks and jams up at a river bend, flooding the community. Kumak and his family climb onto their roof and keep the largest chunks of ice away with long poles, their dogs tied up in a boat nearby. Bania, who taught in an Inupiaq village, works the cadences of the story like the flowing waters of the river, with repetition of key phrases building the action. The illustrations are a pleasing wash of color against large swaths of white space that call to mind the vast openness of Alaska. A secondary story takes place in the pictures, in which the dogs have their own adventure after the rope holding their boat breaks. Despite a misleading subtitle, the story is less a tall tale than a lovingly depicted story of a people who live in harmony with nature; rather than raging against the river that sweeps away their oil drums, toys, net floats, and fish tubs, Kumak and his family know that 'A river does what a river does.'"-School Library Journal

Read from the Book

‘“That river will come to visit us today,” said Kumak. The water starts rising. It spills out of the river banks, up over the sandy beach, and begins flowing up past the fish racks and boats. As the waters sweep through his village, Kumak and his family take refuge on the roof of his house. “Look!” said Kumak’s wife, “There goes Uncle Aglu’s oil drum.” “Look!” said Kumak’s wife’s mother, “There goes Aana Lulu’s fish tubs and net floats!” “Look!” said Kumak’s sons and daughters, “There goes Little Nate’s basketball!”’ Just as Kumak and his family are feeling all is lost, “just like someone pulled a plug in a bathtub”, the water recedes. “Just in time!” shout the villagers. “What has the river done with our things!”’ .  

Editorial Reviews

"In the far north, family bonds remain strong, even if visits are an adventure in themselves. KUMAK'S RIVER: A Tall Tale from the Far North is a children's picturebook from Michael Bania as he tells the story of Kumak and his journeys to visit his family as he lives in the far north. As the river's ice breaks and flows away, he usually visits his family, but when the ice breaks and jams the river, trouble may come for Kumak and the village. KUMAK'S RIVER is an excellent read for youth picturebook collections, highly recommended." -THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW--James Cox