Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hurry Up, Ilua! - a bookwrap

Scurry Squirrel
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Scurry squirrels and don't be slow 
Winter's coming, don't you know 
Scamper, scamper all around 
Bury treasures in the ground 
Scurry squirrels and don't be slow 
Winter's coming, don't you know! 

Unwrapping today's book...

Written and illustrated by;

Nola Helen Hicks

Ages 3-8

Unwrapping the illustrations...

Look at how bold and colourful these are and the detail.

I love the surreal approach in this picture.

Look how Nola captured the expression on the wolf's face causing anxiety and tension to both Ilua and the reader.  Will Ilua and her little sister be the wolf's next meal? 

Unwrapping the storyline...

Ilua is a ground squirrel who lives in the far north.  She loves to calmly take her time and enjoy her life and her surroundings.  She lounges in the cool tundra and savours the taste of her freshly picked berries.  She controls time and time doesn't control her.  Her family, it seems, is always in a rush prodding and telling Ilua faster, faster, time is of the essence.  

Her mother hands her baby sister over to her and Ilua tucks her snuggly in her "amauti, her parka, and off she goes for one last stroll down by the lake to gather up some Arctic cotton and get one last drink of fresh water before the snow falls and hibernation time arrives. Time is slipping away...

Unfortunately Ilua runs out of time and the snow starts falling and a blizzard closes in. As the snowfall increases it causes her to lose her way and she finds herself lost and cut off from her underground burrow.  She stumbles into a raven, an Arctic hare and a big wolf.  She humbly asks if they could help her find her den once again because she has lost her way and her family.  Tears roll down her face as a distraught little squirrel wishes with all her heart that for once she had listened to her family and let time control her.

Will Ilua get back home safely with her little sister and cuddle up  for a long winter's sleep with the rest of her family?  Does she have a change of heart and realize how terribly dangerous procrastination can be?  Will this turn out to be a "happily ever after story" and Ilua will learn the value of time management?  This story is well written, the illustrations add so much to the narrative and I know you are going to read it again and again.  The author has cleverly included a pronunciation guide at the end of the book.  I highly recommend this book.

Unwrapping the author...

Nola Helen Hicks is a teacher, author and artist.  Teaching in isolated northern communities over the last five years, combined with a love of travel has given her a unique and broad perspective of Canada.  Nola has a deep love of making nature-themed art with a fantastical twist, especially work featuring the flora and fauna of Canada. Nola’s first children’s book, Hurry Up, Ilua! was recently published by Inhabit Media and is available for purchase.  Currently living in the New Brunswick countryside, Nola enjoys creating art in her solar-powered home studio, and taking long walks in her hayfields with her dogs.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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