The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish: Based on a True Story (Paperback)
A riveting, unforgettable survival story, poetically told and exquisitely illustrated with rounded scratchboard art, that captures the strength and grace of Inupiaq culture.
In 1913, a boat called Fish, part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, became stuck in the Arctic ice. On board were a captain and crew, scientists and explorers, a cat, forty sled dogs, Inupiaq hunters, and an Inupaiq family with two small girls.
Even with the Inupiat and their skills of hunting and sewing, even with the family’s care and wisdom, even with the compassion and courage of their captain, odds for survival in the cold dark Arctic seem against the passengers of the Karluk.
And by the story’s end, readers will know something of the way of life in the high north, something of the song of the place, the wide sky, the sound of the wind, the ptarmigan.
This beautiful 48-page book includes details of centuries-old crafts and skills—of sewing boots from caribou legs and ugruk skin, of quickly cutting snow houses, of wearing wooden goggles to ward off snow blindness—that will enrich modern imaginations.
Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of Snowflake Bentley, winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal, and The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, an ALA Notable Book, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, Riverbank Review Finalist, Notable Social Studies Trade book and winner of The Golden Kite Award for Illustration. She grew up on a farm in Maine much like the one in this story. She lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
"Stylized scratchboard illustrations in soft beige, brown, gold, blue, and green tones add an emotional charge to this well-researched story of an Eskimo woman, her husband and children who, in 1913, found themselves aboard a Canadian Arctic Expedition ship, The Karluk. Excellent for multicultural studies or a theme dealing with the Arctic or survival." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"Martin includes details that will fascinate kids (Inupiaq sunglasses–how cool!). The quiet, intriguing language, with a poet’s attention to sound, will lull young ones into the story’s drama, as will Beth Krommes’ captivating scratchboard illustrations, suggestive of Lois Lenski’s work in their rounded shapes and bold lines. With its picture-book format and well-paced chapters, this is a great choice for primary classroom read-alouds." — Booklist
"Beth Krommes’s scratchboard art is outstanding. Ice, artifacts, and characters are delineated in handsome black, softened with crosshatching and a limited palette that ranges from sealskin brown to ice blue; sweeps of white space pull readers into windswept vistas or set off cozy iglu interiors. Art, narration, and information are all perfectly integrated in a story that makes a fine introduction to arctic exploration." — The Horn Book
"Martin’s text for this thrilling adventure is spare and poetic. The illustrations perfectly echo the text and the designs of the far north. This book belongs in any study of the Arctic, of native peoples, of exploration and discovery and of bravery and tradition." — “Into the Unknown” by Carol Otis Hurst, Teaching PreK-8