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The Eye of the Needle
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The Eye of the Needle
retold and illustrated by Teri Sloat
based on a Yup'ik tale as told by Betty Huffman
Dutton, 1990

Available in paperback from Alaska Northwest Books (imprint of GACPC)!

• Golden Book Club: Editor's Choice
• Troll Book Club
• Maryland State Reading List

Reviews

Northern Ink: When a child asks to read a book over and over, it is a sign that something in the book works. The illustrations are realistic and fantastical, with historically appropriate details.

SF Chronicle: …a colorful, humorous retelling of a Yup'ik folktale about a boy's uncontrolled hunger.

About the Book

When my husband and I lived in Alaska, I met Betty Huffman who tells wonderful stories. She grew up in Goodnews Bay with a Yup'ik mother and a French Canadian father who opened many of the first stores up the river from her home. She told me the story Eye of the Needle that was full of scenes I wanted to draw. Some of my favorite stories are ones that teach and this taught a great lesson about not being greedy.

Illustrating the story did not turn out to be easy. I had a hard time finding pictures of the insides of the huts from long ago. It took a lot of research and asking questions to find out that many things were made of grass—the floor mats, many of the bags and baskets, etc. I also found out how seal oil was burned to warm the hut in special containers, and so you need a way to let the smoke out which was the hole in Grandma's roof. There were so many interesting things to learn about how people lived by using the natural resources around them.

I am now illustrating another book that Betty and I have written. It tells the story of why so many kinds of berries are found on the tundra.

 

 

© Teri Sloat 2006