Visitors to the Yukon are seeing and feeling the territory for themselves. I don’t need to describe the landscape or the friendly Northern-way because these people are experiencing it.
All Yukoners know that with the influx of tourists comes the inevitable question: “What should I get as a souvenir?”
As an über-fan of both children’s books and Chris Caldwell, one of my musts for all who pass through the region – to play or to stay – is Caldwell’s Alsek’s ABC Adventure.
Caldwell is an amazing artist. Yukoners unfamiliar with her work are few.
I must admit my friend’s personalized print of her dog Austin has made me yearn for a rental agreement that allowed for pets, so I could get my own creature drawn by the local legend.
Most of us are well aware that training a puppy is never as fun as it looks in movie montages, so a great way to have Caldwell’s work in your home is to pick up a copy of Alsek’s ABC Adventure.
Imagine Dr. Seuss’s ABC and Fox in Sox fused into one great read, chock full of Yukon and Northern vocabulary. Now, imagine this tour de force illustrated by Caldwell.
Does it get any better? Probably not.
There is nothing cooler for kids than seeing their name in print, be it in a newspaper or in a school newsletter. The next best thing is seeing their community and surroundings televised or written about in a book.
Caldwell’s book is a fun portrayal of Yukon in the summer, a welcome reminder of why we put up with a month of -40 in the depths of winter.
Alsek is a hungry bear that roams the Yukon looking for a snack. He starts with berries but isn’t satisfied and investigates a cache, chases grouse, tries his hand at fishing and gets into a camper’s knapsack.
Kids will love the colourful caricature illustrations and the alphabetical alliteration.
Alsek’s ABC Adventure was Caldwell’s first book, but long before writing it she illustrated a pamphlet, Be Bear Aware, for the Yukon Department of Renewable Resources.
Although Caldwell’s drawings are comical, she stresses the importance of respecting wildlife and keeping a safe distance as a real-life bear encounter is no laughing matter.
It’s a good idea to have a copy of this book whether kids live in your house or not because it’s never too late for a little refresher on the alphabet. Can you come up with the letters before and after G without singing the alphabet song?
You can find Alsek’s ABC Adventure at our local bookstores as well as most local retailers specializing in souvenirs.
To purchase a used copy, you may get lucky and find it at Well-Read Books.
You can also take the book out of fourteen different Yukon public libraries.