Oona in the Arctic

Kelly DiPucchio

Book - 2023

"A mermaid and her otter friend go on a journey to help a lost beluga whale return to the Arctic."--

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Dipucchi Due Jun 26, 2024
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Picture books
New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books [2023]
Main Author
Kelly DiPucchio (author)
Other Authors
Raissa Figueroa (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades K-1.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Oona, the young mermaid first introduced in Oona (2021) and Oona and the Shark (2022), returns with a brand-new adventure. Oona loves the surprises her ocean home holds, but she can't believe when she finds baby beluga. She enthusiastically tries to make the tiny whale feel at home, offering it food and friendship, but, despite her efforts, the beluga still looks sad. Realizing that it must miss its family, Oona and her friend Otto (an otter) plan a trip to the Arctic to reunite the youngster with its pod. Using Oona's brilliance and collection of maps and compasses, the trio sets off toward the icy north, encountering many wonders and tense situations along the way. Upon reaching the Arctic, they make a new mermaid friend in Siku, who helps them locate the whale's family. Despite its chilly temperatures, this story will warm the heart, and much of its sweetness is found in Figueroa's gentle illustrations. Readers will find the bright colors and rounded figures inviting and they'll also appreciate seeing mermaids of color, from Oona's brown skin and full afro to Siku's resemblance to the north's Inuit. A lovely escapade.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2--Oh, Oona! The little Black mermaid is back and surprised to discover a little beluga whale swimming in her warm waters. She and her friend Otto the otter embark on a long journey north to return the baby beluga to her family. As the waters become colder, the ocean grows dark, and Oona and her friends lose their way. When hope fades, they meet Siku, a mermaid whose name means ice and who calls the frosty waters home. She enlists help from a narwhal, polar bears, and other arctic creatures until the baby beluga is finally reunited with her family. As Oona and her friends watch the northern lights dance in the starry sky, she celebrates the "new-friends kind of magic" she has found. This is the third book about the determined little mermaid and her friends. Conversational text infused with humor is designed to be read aloud. The digital illustrations enhance the text, with many charming details to be found on each page. As Oona and friends become unnerved by the creatures of the north, they are seen gazing at a woolly mammoth trapped in a glacier who seems to be looking back at them. Swirling waters and ice and bold colors create an enchanting setting for the sea creatures to explore. Siku has pale skin, straight black hair, and chin tattoos traditionally worn by Inuit women. An acknowledgement of thanks is given to Holly Mititquq Nordlud, an artist, traditional Inuit tattooer, and activist who collaborated in the creation of the book. Recommend to fans of the "Oona" series and mermaid lovers everywhere. VERDICT A warmhearted story of friendship, bravery, and helping others, recommended for general purchase.--Elizabeth Lovsin

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A home-away picaresque through the deep blue sea. In this third installment in the Oona series, DiPucchio's diminutive Black mermaid, who has deep brown skin and an impressively expansive Afro, travels from warm to frigid waters to return a baby beluga who shows up in her cave. Oona and her trusty sidekicks, Otto (an otter) and a baby sea turtle, feed the beluga kelp cake, "ninety-nine sushi rolls, a bucket of chowder, and an entire plate of sea-salt cookies," but the homesick baby throws herself on the ocean floor, crying. Realizing the beluga wants to go home, Oona finds among her treasures some old maps and a broken compass, which she repairs to commence the journey to the Arctic. She loses the compass in a storm, her map gets ripped, and an iceberg threatens to crush the travelers, but they soon meet Siku, a mermaid who offers the support and friendship they need to keep moving. The book's dedication thanking Holly Mititquq Nordlum, artist, activist, and "enrolled member of the Native Village of Qikiktagruq," suggests that Siku is Inuit. Figueroa's richly detailed digital illustrations effectively capture the mood of each scene with shifting palettes as the characters move through different ocean habitats with varying sea life; the visual details will keep budding oceanographers engaged. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A fascinating and visually satisfying epic journey of home and friendship. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.