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Sweetest Kulu 5th Anniversary Limited Edition

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This beautiful bedtime poem, written by internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts bestowed upon a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and lovingly written, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants. A perfect gift for new par This beautiful bedtime poem, written by internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts bestowed upon a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and lovingly written, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants. A perfect gift for new parents, this unique bedtime book is sure to appeal to lovers of On the Night You Were Born and Goodnight Moon.


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This beautiful bedtime poem, written by internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts bestowed upon a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and lovingly written, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants. A perfect gift for new par This beautiful bedtime poem, written by internationally acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts bestowed upon a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic. Lyrically and lovingly written, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants. A perfect gift for new parents, this unique bedtime book is sure to appeal to lovers of On the Night You Were Born and Goodnight Moon.

30 review for Sweetest Kulu 5th Anniversary Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Sweet! Sometimes, that exclamation (Sweet!) means something is endearing, and sometimes, it means something is way cool. Both meanings apply to Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk, illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis. Kulu is an Inuktitut term of endearment. The babe who is the sweetest kulu in this book is Inuit (Inuktitut is one of the languages spoken by Inuit people). I got it yesterday. The sense of peace and promise in Kalluk's book was just what I needed on a particularly trying day. See the cov Sweet! Sometimes, that exclamation (Sweet!) means something is endearing, and sometimes, it means something is way cool. Both meanings apply to Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk, illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis. Kulu is an Inuktitut term of endearment. The babe who is the sweetest kulu in this book is Inuit (Inuktitut is one of the languages spoken by Inuit people). I got it yesterday. The sense of peace and promise in Kalluk's book was just what I needed on a particularly trying day. See the cover? The whole book is like that... Kalluk's words and Neonakis's art work beautifully together as we learn Inuit values in which people and animals coexist as caretakers of the land. In Kalluk's hands, this is not the stereotypical one-with-the-animals story that we see all too often. This is a terrific book for those who have a newborn in the house... And for those of us who just need a book that rights the world for us, that reminds us of that world in all its richness. Sweetest Kulu is another great book from Inhabit Media. By the way! If you're interested in Native music, you ought to add Kalluk to your playlist. She is a throat singer. Check out this video. She was performing in New York with a cousin. You MUST ALSO watch the set of short videos here. Note (added May 27, 2014): Sweetest Kulu will be available in October. I reviewed it from a bound galley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Canadian Reader

    There's a great idea behind this book. A child is born during the Arctic summer, and the animals who live in the far north visit him/her, each with a special gift or quality to bestow on the infant. It's not unlike the story of the nativity. But things go wrong with the book because the language sounds as though it has come out of some Canadian Heritage and Culture document that is trying too hard to "foster empowerment" in Indigenous people. For example, we're told the narwhal and beluga give " There's a great idea behind this book. A child is born during the Arctic summer, and the animals who live in the far north visit him/her, each with a special gift or quality to bestow on the infant. It's not unlike the story of the nativity. But things go wrong with the book because the language sounds as though it has come out of some Canadian Heritage and Culture document that is trying too hard to "foster empowerment" in Indigenous people. For example, we're told the narwhal and beluga give "spontaneity"; the seal "loves creativity": and the muskox shares "heritage and empowerment". The spiritual gifts bestowed on the child just don't naturally go with the animal visitor. I was okay with a polar bear teaching respect, because let's face it: polar bears are in a bad state right now. There hasn't been much respect for the conditions they require in order to continue. Not only that, Inuit people do respect them—respect and fear. The additional "offering of gentleness"? From a polar bear? I don't think so. What would be wrong with a kid getting a gift of healthy fear of the powerful forces in nature? It's just all too cute and cloying—which reminds me of the annoying adjectives: “cutest Kulu" and "nicest Kulu"—just not good. This is the kind of book that a certain kind of adult would give to friends who've just had a baby. It’s a book rather like Robert Munsch's Love You Forever. Some people weep over that book. Adults are crazy about it; kids less so—they find it funny. Sweetest Kulu is less maudlin than Munsch, but the language doesn't recommend it for kids, and maybe not for adults either. It's a shame. It could've been a great picture book. The art, while not spectacular compared to other texts from Inhabit Media, is "nice" enough. The text itself, I cannot recommend.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Marvelous concept, breathtaking illustrations, rhythmic text, just right book design, an almost perfect book. I'd probably love it even more if I had a baby to dote over, or a classroom with which to share this. Definitely recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    LauraR

    This book is listed as an AICL's best book of 2014. This picture book is a wonderful addition to any classroom library in grades 3 and above. This story tells of a young boy who receives "gifts" and personality traits from animals that are around him. Each animal offers up a different trait that beautifully reflects a part of a person. Together, the author and the illustrator show that the Earth is made up of all living things and how those living things are connected. The Inuit culture shines t This book is listed as an AICL's best book of 2014. This picture book is a wonderful addition to any classroom library in grades 3 and above. This story tells of a young boy who receives "gifts" and personality traits from animals that are around him. Each animal offers up a different trait that beautifully reflects a part of a person. Together, the author and the illustrator show that the Earth is made up of all living things and how those living things are connected. The Inuit culture shines through as the values of the personality traits represented appear. In this particular culture, animals and people live respectively and cooperatively and this book shows their connection. Based on the vocabulary of this book, it is recommended that this book be placed in a classroom library for grades 3 and above. The illustrations are clear and have a setting that depicts the animal giving away the personality trait to the young boy. The illustrations lead off the page, which allows the reader to draw their own inferences based on the already developed image. The images flow throughout both pages of the book and the text is located on the center of one of the pages. This book could be used as a read-aloud or as an independent read. It is important that the vocabulary words are discussed in order for students to understand the meaning of the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    A newborn Inuit baby named Kulu is gifted with many wonderful traits and good wishes from the animals around him in this poetic picture-book. From adventurous Snow Bunting, who gives Arctic cotton seeds and flowers, to powerful Polar Bear, who teaches about respect for the wild, the creatures of land and sea give Kulu a "practical foundation to balance and build upon..." Apparently author Celina Kalluk is an Inuit throat singer, and her musical gift certainly comes through in the lovely sing-song A newborn Inuit baby named Kulu is gifted with many wonderful traits and good wishes from the animals around him in this poetic picture-book. From adventurous Snow Bunting, who gives Arctic cotton seeds and flowers, to powerful Polar Bear, who teaches about respect for the wild, the creatures of land and sea give Kulu a "practical foundation to balance and build upon..." Apparently author Celina Kalluk is an Inuit throat singer, and her musical gift certainly comes through in the lovely sing-song narrative of Sweetest Kulu. I enjoyed the text, and I also appreciated the artwork from illustrator Alexandria Neonakis, with its use of color and contrast. This is another title from the Nunavut-based Inhabit Media, an Inuit-owned publisher concentrating on books with an Inuit cultural context, and it is another winner. Recommended to anyone looking for sweetly reassuring picture-books for young children, as well as to those seeking children's stories with an Inuit cultural context.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    In this charming picture book, an unnamed mother speaks lovingly to her newborn. She tells her baby (which can be either a boy or girl) about the day he/she was born, and how all of the Arctic came to give their greetings. As they visit, the animals, and the land itself, endows little Kulu with a set of qualities; tenderness from Arctic Char, patience and a sense of direction from Caribou... each spread features a different entity and their gift. This sense of love and well-wishing is conveyed t In this charming picture book, an unnamed mother speaks lovingly to her newborn. She tells her baby (which can be either a boy or girl) about the day he/she was born, and how all of the Arctic came to give their greetings. As they visit, the animals, and the land itself, endows little Kulu with a set of qualities; tenderness from Arctic Char, patience and a sense of direction from Caribou... each spread features a different entity and their gift. This sense of love and well-wishing is conveyed through both word and art. All the illustrations have soft, coloured linework, designs that emphasize the gentle, cuddly side of the animals and baby, and a beautiful dreamlike palette. Sweetest Kulu is a heartfelt lullaby, looks phenomenal, and, it nurtures the Inuit value of respect for nature. Absolutely recommended for all little ones and their guardians.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    All the animals in the Artic bestow their own unique gifts to newborn baby Kulu. The illustrations are lovely, filled with scenes depicting nature's beauty and the love of a mother for her young one. What is particularly impressive about this book is how the gifts aren't monetary or superficial but instead values such as believing in oneself, giving to others, tenderness, and spontaneity. The story was written by an Inuit throat singer.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    An absolutely delightful book to read with your little one. The art is stunning, and the life-affirming message from the High Arctic is tender and bittersweet. My own baby daughter now refers to the basement, where this treasured book is kept, as "Kulu".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    Sweetest Kulu really is the sweetest. Gorgeous illustrations, and a gentle, lovely bedtime story. The rhythm of the text did take some getting used to, though, and it felt inconsistent. Still a warm, enjoyable picture book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    A bedtime poem to a newborn baby in which a mother speaking to her child tells of all the Arctic animals that bestowed blessings upon the child. The artwork supports the dreamy nature of this book with its subdued color palette and softly shaped animals. Traditional Inuit values of love and respect for land and animals are woven into text making this a celebration of culture as well as the child. Highly recommended for PreK-2.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alia

    I was very excited to read this book but found it a little underwhelming. It is very sweet, yes and I enjoyed reading how every aspect of Kulu's environment from the wind to all the animals welcomed him and bestowed gifts upon him BUT it's not much of a story. The illustrations are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous though and that saves the book for me. It is worth a read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Warm, gentle lullaby story incorporating traditional Inuit values and beliefs. Lovely illustrations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Sweetest Kulu is a children's picture book written by Celina Kalluk and illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis, which is a wonderful lullaby from a mother to her child, who happens to be Indigenous. Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day (21 June), so I thought it would be apropos to read this today. Kalluk's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and poetic. Using simple rhymes, Kalluk has written a beautiful lullaby imbued with traditional Inuit beliefs. Kulu is an Inuktitut term of endearme Sweetest Kulu is a children's picture book written by Celina Kalluk and illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis, which is a wonderful lullaby from a mother to her child, who happens to be Indigenous. Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day (21 June), so I thought it would be apropos to read this today. Kalluk's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and poetic. Using simple rhymes, Kalluk has written a beautiful lullaby imbued with traditional Inuit beliefs. Kulu is an Inuktitut term of endearment for babies and young children. It is told from the perspective of a mother speaking to her newborn child. Neonakis' illustrations use the colors of the northern world splendidly and depict the lullaby extremely well. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. A newborn child is welcomed by the sun, the wind, the Arctic land and all its animal inhabitants, who bring gifts of love and self-respect to the newborn child. All in all, Sweetest Kulu is a wonderfully children's book of a mother’s love to her newborn child, by singing a lullaby that accentuates her culture.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is Celina Kalluk's only children's book to date, so I haven't read anything else from her. Alexandria Neonakis has illustrated a few other children's books, but this is my first time seeing anything from her. I'm a big fan of Inhabit Media as a publisher, which is what brought me to this book--but it isn't why I stayed. Kalluk's story is absolutely charming, poetic, tender in all the best ways. Interpreting Inuit culture and Arctic nature into a bedtime story filled with love and tenderness This is Celina Kalluk's only children's book to date, so I haven't read anything else from her. Alexandria Neonakis has illustrated a few other children's books, but this is my first time seeing anything from her. I'm a big fan of Inhabit Media as a publisher, which is what brought me to this book--but it isn't why I stayed. Kalluk's story is absolutely charming, poetic, tender in all the best ways. Interpreting Inuit culture and Arctic nature into a bedtime story filled with love and tenderness works beautifully. My heart melted for most of this. Neonakis's illustrations are beautiful and really brought the story to life. It was hard to take my eyes off the beautiful pictures, but it was hard to take my eyes off the beautiful words. This is perfect for anyone looking for a new bedtime story for a toddler or infant, but also genuinely a good read for any adult fans of picture books. I hope Celina Kalluk publishes more children's stories. I hope to read more books illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    If I could give this 6 or 7 stars I would. This one racked up a number of awards and I believe, having recently read over 100 children’s indigenous books ,that this is a Top 5 for me. Beautiful illustrations. Simple elegant poetic prose. A message of love. An indigenous story (Inuit) written by an Inuit woman. Inhabit Media is a favourite of mine. They publish great stuff. Seek this out and read this to your child and/or students and/or nieces and nephews and grandchildren. It really provides an If I could give this 6 or 7 stars I would. This one racked up a number of awards and I believe, having recently read over 100 children’s indigenous books ,that this is a Top 5 for me. Beautiful illustrations. Simple elegant poetic prose. A message of love. An indigenous story (Inuit) written by an Inuit woman. Inhabit Media is a favourite of mine. They publish great stuff. Seek this out and read this to your child and/or students and/or nieces and nephews and grandchildren. It really provides an opportunity to dig deeper into some questions of life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Errin

    The illustrations of the wittle beebee, Kulu, with all the animals were adorable. The landscapes and colors used were stunning. The poem was soft and lovely and a nice way to introduce children to traditional Inuit values.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liaken

    Beautiful illustrations with a simple gender neutral lullaby theme. The art is both intimate and vast.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Aolund

    A lovely, lulling bedtime read full of very sweet energy. Own Voices author.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mook

    My sister bought this for her friend's one year old. The story is adorable and the artwork is GORGEOUS.

  20. 4 out of 5

    M.A. Wohl

    Poetic, sweet, soft, this wonderful story is about Kulu, a newborn who's about to meet many grand and wonderous visitors from the Artic. Kiddo absolutely loves it. An instant classic!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Whole And

    A meaningful bedtime book to keep by one's side and enjoy many times over imparting the values gifted by the miraculous animals of the Arctic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Kulu has just been born and is being welcomed by the world. Kulu is Inuit and as the world comes to welcome the baby, traditional Inuit beliefs are shown in the story. It is the Arctic summer, so the first to welcome Kulu is Smiling Sun, who stays bright all through the night. The Wind arrives and teaches Kulu the importance of listening closely. Then the animals start arriving. These are not your normal animals, but ones that are specifically from the Arctic and of importance to the Inuit. With Kulu has just been born and is being welcomed by the world. Kulu is Inuit and as the world comes to welcome the baby, traditional Inuit beliefs are shown in the story. It is the Arctic summer, so the first to welcome Kulu is Smiling Sun, who stays bright all through the night. The Wind arrives and teaches Kulu the importance of listening closely. Then the animals start arriving. These are not your normal animals, but ones that are specifically from the Arctic and of importance to the Inuit. With each animal comes a blessing: the Snow Bunting reminds Kulu to always believe in himself, Fox tells Kulu to get out of bed as soon as you wake and to help anyone who needs it. The entire book sings with a connection to nature, to this specific region of the earth, and for the love of a baby. Kalluk, who is an Inuit throat singer, has beautifully captured the values of her people in this picture book. It is done so organically and naturally that many will not realize that this is more than a sweet picture book. The fact that it also weaves in traditions and values of the Inuit makes the book all the more special and noteworthy. Kalluk writes very lyrically, creating moments for each of the animals that are unique to them which keeps the book from becoming repetitious. The illustrations have a lovely cartoon quality to them, one can almost see them leaping to life from the page. The large animals dwarf little Kulu by their bulk, but the tenderness they all feel for this tiny baby shines on the page. There is a respect between human and animal that is warm and tangible too. A gorgeous and meaningful book welcoming a baby to the world, this picture book is unique and special. Appropriate for ages 1-3.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Pearson

    I was looking for some board books for my new niece and was attracted by the lovely cover of Sweetest Kulu by author Celina Kalluk an Inuit throat singer. The story tells of the gifts given to a newborn by the animals of the arctic. The language is gentle and flowing and had a calming effect on me. I learned that the word Kulu is an Inuit term of endearment. How perfect for a baby book. Little Kulu is dressed in a teal outfit on each page as is a different arctic animal. I particularly loved the p I was looking for some board books for my new niece and was attracted by the lovely cover of Sweetest Kulu by author Celina Kalluk an Inuit throat singer. The story tells of the gifts given to a newborn by the animals of the arctic. The language is gentle and flowing and had a calming effect on me. I learned that the word Kulu is an Inuit term of endearment. How perfect for a baby book. Little Kulu is dressed in a teal outfit on each page as is a different arctic animal. I particularly loved the pages with the arctic char, the snow bunting and my absolute favourite was the narwhal beluga page. If I could have a print suitable for framing, that would be the page. The book is illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis. This book provides plenty of material for both parents and children to enjoy. As the child grows older, they can learn the animals, colours, flowers and even play act the feeling that are introduced. This is a book that I could enjoy reading again and again.

  24. 5 out of 5

    SkittishElf

    I don't have children, but I bought this book because if I ever do, this is the kind of book I would want them to read. I'm a sucker for children's books that inspire respect for nature; it's such an important message that I don't think is encouraged enough in kids, especially with all the technology they grow up with today. I will say that the writing style may not be the most interesting to children, but the illustrations are gorgeous! And the baby is so freakin' cute!! I can imagine being a c I don't have children, but I bought this book because if I ever do, this is the kind of book I would want them to read. I'm a sucker for children's books that inspire respect for nature; it's such an important message that I don't think is encouraged enough in kids, especially with all the technology they grow up with today. I will say that the writing style may not be the most interesting to children, but the illustrations are gorgeous! And the baby is so freakin' cute!! I can imagine being a child and looking at the pictures as someone reads this to me, I think it would be much more effective being absorbed that way instead of reading it to myself as an adult. I definitely recommend this to parents who want to instil a love and respect for nature in their children.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Violet

    What a beautiful introduction to Inuit culture and sensibilities! The soft, lyrical text is a gently lullaby, but also a lesson in growing up. The interaction between the baby and the animals is tender and magical. The colors evoke the solid rock and icy glaciers of the arctic. But most impressive are the dynamic, almost cinematic animals that dominate every page. The child is sweet and cuddly and doesn't get lost even with the strong images surrounding it. Even the endpapers of this book are lo What a beautiful introduction to Inuit culture and sensibilities! The soft, lyrical text is a gently lullaby, but also a lesson in growing up. The interaction between the baby and the animals is tender and magical. The colors evoke the solid rock and icy glaciers of the arctic. But most impressive are the dynamic, almost cinematic animals that dominate every page. The child is sweet and cuddly and doesn't get lost even with the strong images surrounding it. Even the endpapers of this book are lovely. This is a very special book that I will be adding to my personal collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This book is so beautiful. I picked it up in Chapters and couldn't put it down, so, despite the exorbitant price, I bought it. I read it to my six-month-old son and he loved looking at it, as well as hearing it. It is a poem, and it even sounds beautiful when you read it out loud. Baby Kulu (a term of endearment) is visited by different Arctic animals and taught many things about life. It's a good story for Canadians. I also just followed the illustrator on tumblr and deviantart because I can't This book is so beautiful. I picked it up in Chapters and couldn't put it down, so, despite the exorbitant price, I bought it. I read it to my six-month-old son and he loved looking at it, as well as hearing it. It is a poem, and it even sounds beautiful when you read it out loud. Baby Kulu (a term of endearment) is visited by different Arctic animals and taught many things about life. It's a good story for Canadians. I also just followed the illustrator on tumblr and deviantart because I can't get enough of her work. She is amazing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    When reading Sweetest Kulu (Inhabit Media Inc., September 2014) by Celina Kalluk with illustrations by Alexandria Neonakis, I felt a sense of deep compassion. Most notable within the narrative is the birth of a child as an occasion to be revered and celebrated. The natural world is tightly woven into, an intricate part of, the Inuit culture. My full recommendation: http://bit.ly/104VcO2 When reading Sweetest Kulu (Inhabit Media Inc., September 2014) by Celina Kalluk with illustrations by Alexandria Neonakis, I felt a sense of deep compassion. Most notable within the narrative is the birth of a child as an occasion to be revered and celebrated. The natural world is tightly woven into, an intricate part of, the Inuit culture. My full recommendation: http://bit.ly/104VcO2

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Love the illustrations and while some of the text wasn't as fluid as I thought it'd be (maybe because I wasn't reading it aloud), it was sweet and reminded me of Blueberry Girl. A bit wordy for story time, perhaps... Love the illustrations and while some of the text wasn't as fluid as I thought it'd be (maybe because I wasn't reading it aloud), it was sweet and reminded me of Blueberry Girl. A bit wordy for story time, perhaps...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This is a stunningly beautiful lullaby that pours out so much love for a child. The illustrations and text work perfectly together. Readers see the beauty of the arctic along with the love between parent and child. This would make a wonderful gift for a new parent.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    An Inuit mother lulls her baby to sleep with a poem of how all the animals of the arctic come to bring the baby gifts of traditional Inuit values."Kulu [is] an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children.” This is a very sweet bedtime story for babies.

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