Neeluk, a Companion Book to Ice Window

fishing spear

Nominated for Grades 5/6 in Alaska School Librarians' "Battle of the Books" for 2002-2003

by Frances Kittredge
Illustrated by Howard "Weyahok" Rock.
Alaska Northwest Books, 2001

Using her letters and journals written during her time at Wales from 1900 to 1902, Ellen's sister Frances Kittredge wrote 12 stories for children, based on her experiences. Stories for each month center on a seven-year-old boy, his friends, and family in his village in northwestern Alaska during the 1880s. Frances commissioned Point Hope Native Howard "Weyahok" Rock, then a student artist at the University of Washington and later a writer, editor and community leader in Alaska, to illustrate the stories. Neeluk features over 30 drawings and 12 full-color reproductions of Rock's oil paintings. There is also a color map of Alaska created from an 1894 document, showing locations of villages at that time. The project editor at Alaska Northwest Books calls Neeluk a "crossover book," since it appeals both to children for the stories and to adults for the illustrations and the historic information it contains. Part of the value of the book is that the illustrations show in detail some of the artifacts mentioned in Ice Window.

Hardcover: ISBN 0-88240-545-4; List: $18.95. Softcover: ISBN 0-88240-546-2; List: $11.95. Available through any bookseller or through the publisher:
Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, 3019 NW Yeon Ave, Portland OR 97210-1519.
Toll free in U.S.: 1-800-452-3032, FAX: 1-800-355-9685. E-mail:


Untitled by Howard "Weyahok" Rock
© 2001 Kathleen Lopp Smith


Another Painting for the Neeluk Stories

Rock's painting of the umiaks with sails is not included in Neeluk. References to sails are found in two chapters, as indicated below.

"August" (p. 22)
Soon all who were going to Kotzebue Sound were on the beach. The grown folks were packing their luggage in umiaks, great skin boats that were deep and wide and forty feet long. Neeluk and Konok and their cousins--Wemok and his sister, Weeana, and four-year-old brother Ahlook--were all going in the same boat. The weather was clear, and the wind filled their big, square sails.

"May" (p. 78)
"Look," said Weeana, "now they are putting up the sails."
"See how fast they are sailing away!" exclaimed Neeluk.
Farther and farther the hunters sailed over the great ocean till they were but specks in the distance. Soon they could not be seen at all.


About Ice Window

Cape Prince of Wales


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