Cover image for The girl who dreamed only geese, and other tales of the Far North
The girl who dreamed only geese, and other tales of the Far North
Norman, Howard A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harcourt Brace, [1997]

Physical Description:
xiii, 147 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Gulliver books."
The day puffins netted Hid-Well -- Noah hunts a wooly mammoth -- Why the rude visitor was flung by walrus -- Uteritsoq and the duckbill dolls -- The wolverine's secret -- The girl who watched in the nighttime -- The man who married a seagull -- Home among the giants -- How the narwhal got its tusk -- The girl who dreamed only geese.
Reading Level:
600 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.6 4.0 26712.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.7 9 Quiz: 28382 Guided reading level: S.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.E7 N63 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E99.E7 N63 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Based on decades of research and extended collaboration with Inuit storytellers, award-winning author Howard Norman's masterful retellings of ten Inuit tales invite readers on a unique story--journey from Siberia and Alaska to the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Dramatic illustrations inspired by stonecut art of the Inuit people capture the beauty and mystery of these stories as they carry us--sometimes laughing, sometimes crying--from village to village over taiga, tundra, snow plains, and the iceberg-filled sea.

Author Notes

Howard Norman was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1949 and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended Western Michigan University, the Folklore Institute of Indiana University, and the University of Michigan.

His work with the Cree Indians created an interest and he then got a job as a translator of Native American poems and folktales. He put together a collection of his translations in the book, The Wishing Bone Cycle: Narrative Poems of the Swampy Cree Indians, which was named the co-winner of the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by the Academy of American Poets. With the Help of a Whiting Award, he has also written The Northern Lights as well as Kiss in the Hotel, Joseph Conrad and Other Stories, and The Bird Artist, which was named one of Time Magazine's Best Five Books of 1994 and won the New England Booksellers Association Prize in Fiction.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-8. A solid collection for anyone seeking culture-based Inuit stories, these were translated, interpreted, and retold by Norman, who met with Inuit tellers and with others experienced in transposing these ancestral tales. The text passes on the strong nature of traditional oral stories, and the Dillons' illustrations further intensify the action, humor, and drama. Full-color paintings are interspersed with black-and-white friezes, reminiscent of Inuit stonecut artwork. Readers will enjoy poring over the wealth of details contained in the friezes, which closely follow the story line. Because of the Dillons' artistry, few will forget the drama of the blind nephew nursing his feverish, lightning-struck aunt or the agony of the hunter buffeted by puffins. The 10 tales may be surprising to those accustomed to more westernized versions. Besides the title story and the Inuit version of Noah's visit to the Arctic, there is the story of the angry, spitting, snarling, stinking "not-invited man" who tries to displace a village shaman but instead is exiled to be endlessly tossed by walrus. Norman's superb notes on the tales supply extra information. --Karen Morgan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Right from the start‘from the stylized image of the tautly posed girl dreaming of geese on the cover, to the lightly stamped snowflakes that mark the endpapers and divide the chapters, to Norman's (known for The Bird Artist and other works for adults) introduction, in which he describes the intriguing process that shaped these 10 tales‘the care behind this deeply absorbing collection shines forth. These folktales (which Norman describes as "living things, each with its own personal history") cover the range of human experience, from simple domestic dramas to mystical struggles to romance, comedy and even religious parody, as in "Noah Hunts a Woolly Mammoth," which takes a wryly humorous view of the ethics and actions of the familiar Biblical figure. By way of contrast, "The Girl Who Watched in the Nighttime," is a tender story of a girl who guards her cousins by night, rescues them after they are kidnapped and eventually meets her perfect match. The Dillons (Her Stories) draw a ribbon of black-and-white figures in the style of Inuit stone-carving atop each double-page spread to tell each story visually, and pick out the climactic moments for full-page color illustrations. An entirely satisfying and handsome collection that, like all good storytelling, is at its best when read aloud to a child. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-10‘A remarkable aspect of this enchanting collection of 10 stories is the fact that Norman retells them from the Inuit oral tradition rather than printed sources. The result is that the narratives have a marvelous vitality and excitement. They capture the sound and cadence of the spoken word, and are perfect for sharing aloud. Brief source notes are provided for each of the selections. The plots reflect the diversity and humor of Inuit culture. Rather than catching puffins in his net, a hunter is caught up in the air by a flying net of puffins; Noah and his arkfull of animals end up in the far north where they encounter a Woolly Mammoth; a shaman and his family must outwit a rival shaman whose smelly shirt is the subject of much discussion; a seagull is transformed into a human but must deal with her pesky seagull uncles; and a young girl with the ability to dream geese struggles with the responsibility of providing game for her village. The Dillons' art is the perfect complement to Norman's text. Each tale is accompanied by several large, full-color acrylic illustrations in addition to outstanding black-and-white friezes that run across the top of each page. Executed in tempera and ink, they depict characters and events from each story. Scrupulous attention to detail is evident throughout, from pages imprinted with a subtle snowflake design, to an understated page layout and typography. While these folktales do impart a great deal of information about Inuit culture, they are ultimately fascinating, magical, and funny stories that can be enjoyed by anyone.‘Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.