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Akiak: A Tale from the Iditarod
Synopses & Reviews
An exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, set against a spectacular Ice Age landscape.
Kip the cave boy bounds along the trail home with a sack of warm and tasty Woolly Rhino ribs. If he could only get rid of pesky Paleowolf, who follows him, hoping for a taste of those delicious ribs! But Paleowolfs presence turns out to be useful: His warnings save Kip from the Cave Bear, the Mighty Mammoth, and the frightening Saber-Toothed Cat. So Kip offers to share his food—if Paleowolf will use his keen nose, fine ears, and sharp eyes to keep Kip from being eaten up. With a bark and a wag of his tail, Paleowolf agrees to this bargain, and Kip christens his new friend Dog.” In this exciting tale of adventure in prehistoric times, Jan Brett creates a spectacular Ice Age landscape populated with the massive animals of the time and bordered with images inspired by cave paintings and Ice Age artifacts. She convincingly portrays the growth of the warm bond between man and animal that must, long, long ago, have resulted in the first domesticated dog.
It is Iditarod day. Fifty-six dog teams will race through 1,151 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain from Anchorage to Nome. Akiak knows these miles well. As lead dog, she has raced the incredible trail before, but never won. She is ten years old: if she is going to win, it must be now.
When snow hurts her paw on the fourth day out, Mick, her musher, must leave her behind and continue the race without her. The rules say once a dog is dropped from the race, it may not rejoin the team. But Akiak doesn't know about rules. She is a lead dog, and her place is with the team. Nothing, not blizzards, not breaking ice, not the people out to catch her, will stop Akiak from catching up to her team. The question is, can the team still win?
Robert J. Blake's majestic snowscapes will lead you through this unforgettable tale of a dog with a hero's heart, a dog who will not give up. Akiak will leave you cheering.
As lead dog, Akiak has raced the Iditarod seven times before but has never won. This is her last chance, but when the snow freezes in her paw on the fourth day, Mick, her musher, must leave her behind. The rules say that Akiak is out for good, but nothing--not blizzards, breaking ice or people out to catch her--will stop Akiak from catching up to her team. Full color.
About the Author
Robert J. Blake was born and raised in New Jersey. As a boy he made "tons of drawings" and used up thousands of crayons. He says, "I even did a huge crayon mural on our hallway that was not artistically appreciated by my parents."
Sharing one large room with two older brothers was "total chaos," he recalls. "We had lots of animals - dogs, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, fish, and even two flying squirrels. And, oh yes, a tarantula. I think my parents were afraid to come up to our room."
Mr. Blake now resides in New Jersey with his wife and son. He works in his studio, a renovated barn on his property. Mr. Blake says, "I would like to paint in every state in the United States and in every country in the world."
"I hope my books lend the reader a feeling, and emotion, a new point of view, a new way to look at something that they might not have experienced otherwise."
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