LIKE MANY OTHER parents, I’ve been doing a lot of hugging and holding this week, trying the mitigate the effects of a tragedy, if only through my own children. I’ve found myself shifting back to simple things that bring our family joy; long treks in the woods, a little bit of sledding and time spent in front of the woodstove, hands curled around steaming cups of hot chocolate. And reading, lots and lots of reading.
Occasionally I get requests to review outdoor-themed gear or books related to our activities in Alaska, so I wasn’t too surprised when an agent from Sasquatch Books in Seattle sent two new books along with a note asking if I’d kindly read and offer my thoughts. Both books, I Would Tuck You In and Larry Gets Lost in Alaska, are great representations of our state, with engaging stories, interesting facts and beautiful illustrations. They were also just what we needed.
I Would Tuck You In is the perfect parent-child love story, with a variety of Alaska creatures making their little ones safe and secure in dens, kelp beds, on tundra trails and in the wide Arctic sky. Perfect for kids birth to five, this charming book by Juneau residents Sarah Asper-Smith and Mitchell Watley provides bedtime-story comfort, any time of the day or night. What I like, though, are the explanatory notes at the bottom of each page to engage the older reader, too. Learn about caribou, brown bears, bowhead whales or owls as you smoothly navigate the pages, and calmly assure youngsters you will indeed, love them always.
Pete is a boy, Larry his pup and the two find adventures together all over the world. The Larry Gets Lost series is a new one for us and while the book outwardly looks appropriate for a younger crowd, the pages are full of cool Alaska facts and funny mishaps shaped into a rhythmic prose kids will love. Larry Gets Lost in Alaska starts on an Alaska Marine Highway ferry and ends in Nome and, rest assured, Larry finds some new friends along the way. Authors John Skewes and Michael Mullin are spot-on with their Alaska trivia and any family with kids under 10 who is planning on traveling around the state should buy this book before hitting the road, water or air.
Available via Amazon.com, these delightful books would make the perfect present for kids in Alaska or Outside. Resident families might learn something new about their home and Lower 48 friends or relatives will enjoy the diversity of Alaska’s animals and environment.
Cozy up with your precious ones this holiday season and read together. Start a new tradition of giving books for Christmas and create your own unique album of memories.
Erin Kirkland is a freelance writer and publisher of AKontheGO.com, a website dedicated to Alaska family travel and outdoor recreation. She lives in Anchorage with her family.