Recently Celina Kalluk's Sweetest Kulu, published by Inhabit Media, was nominated for a Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.
“Kulu” is an Inuktitut term of endearment, appropriate for this message of love from a mother to her newborn. It tells of Arctic animals and plants, sun and wind, bringing gifts for the baby on the day she is born.
Some readers might initially read Sweetest Kulu as a mystical tale; animals bringing gifts to a newborn bears a striking resemblance to many Nativity story adaptations. Though if not taken as literal, it is more of a message about appreciating and understanding the lessons and other gifts that nature has to offer, as well as the baby’s role in the ecosystem. It is truly a beautiful message, told with a soft, lyrical eloquence.
Complementing Kalluk’s words are gorgeous illustrations by Alexandria Neonakis. The flowing lines guide the organic theme along, while the baby has a retro, adorable look that both parents and children alike will appreciate. The colours are very realistic to the Arctic and as such are varied enough to keep the pages visually engaging, but tending toward pastels to keep them soothing.
This would be a perfect bedtime book and is available as both a picture book and a board book.