Suzie Napayok-Short spent a little time promoting her very first children's book, Wild Eggs, while paying a visit to Rankin Inlet earlier this month.
Suzie Napayok-Short displays her first children's book, Wild Eggs, while passing through Rankin Inlet earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
Napayok-Short, currently of Yellowknife, is an environmentalist, and the book became her way of trying to show young children how precious Inuit lands are.
She said she doesn't want to see companies tearing up the land looking for valuable minerals or in the name of oil-and-gas development.
"I can't really say it like that in a children's book, so I tried to portray the actual ways people hunt for wild eggs," said Napayok-Short.
"The book focuses on a little girl from Yellowknife who always goes to Montreal for her summer vacation, but, one year, her mom, who is part Inuk, tells her she's going up North for her vacation.
"The girl thinks there's nothing but snow up North, and there's no shopping malls, fairs or cotton candy, so she's rather depressed.
"But she soon finds herself on an adventure like no other, and that's what you see when you're in the North."
Napayok-Short said she is finishing her second children's book, but doesn't have a publication date just yet.
She said she has done a little to promote Wild Eggs, but probably not as much as she should have.
"We did a couple of book signings at the Book Cellar, one in Iqaluit and one in Rankin Inlet because I just happened to be there and they had my book at the Ivalu store.
"All I hear, as I travel around, is how much the children enjoy my book, and I haven't heard anything negative so far.
"But, you have to remember, people up here are very kind and polite.
"So, even if the book totally stunk, I don't think they would tell me," she said with an honest laugh.
Wild Eggs was rated four out of four by the University of Manitoba, and it received a similar rating from the University of Alberta along with a high recommendation as educational reading.
Kirkus Reviews in New York gave Wild Eggs a five out of five and noted it as recommended reading, while the Canadian Children's Books Centre rated it as one of the top children's and youth's books so far in 2016.
Napayok-Short said it was extremely challenging for her to present her ideas from a child's point of view.
She said she went egg hunting with her mother and father about five years ago in an attempt to see the world again as a child.
"I'm a translator and I think very seriously about what I do, so I really can't think like a child.
"So, that was the fun part of it, at times, because you develop a different sort of character in your mind to portray the way she, as a child, sees things.
"A new career door may have opened for me because I hope to, eventually, be able to just write but, unfortunately, it doesn't put the bread and butter on my table just yet.
"Right now, I'd just like to see the kids play outdoors more, experience the environment, be a child and get away from the influence of computers and the here-and-now world we all seem to be stuck in."