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Skeleton Woman
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K-Gr 3‘Caught in a tsunami, an Inuit girl is ``taken by the sea.'' Her village mourns, then literally moves on, abandoning the inlet. Years later, a solitary fisherman snags her skeleton and, terrified, drags it, caught on his line, back to his ice house. Calming down, he begins to pity the unknown victim. He sets the bones in order, wraps them in fur, and sheds a tear for the dead. As he sleeps, Annuk wakes: she takes on flesh, and responds to the rhythm of his beating heart. He opens his eyes to see a beautiful woman before him. Annuk remains with him, and the final spread shows her with her children as he returns from sea. Yoshi's watercolors, realistically detailed and vibrant despite the limited environmental color, convey the flavor of Inuit life. Kayaks and ice floes, furs and sleds, masks, and a few utilitarian but elegantly simple artifacts represent Aleutian life. Both the subject and its setting make this a rather chilling story, yet the happy ending, bright as the endpapers' Northern lights, promises a magical recovery from loss.‘Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI

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