The Polar Bear's GiftBook - 2000
In the great frozen expanse of the high Arctic, Pani, a young Inuit girl, longs to be a great hunter of polar bears like her parents before her. But first, says Pani's grandmother, she must become a great fisher. The next day at the fishing hole, Pani hooks her first fish. In honor of her accomplishment her grandmother presents her with a special ivory fishing lure that once belonged to Pani's mother.Proud of her lure, Pani tells her friends that it is magic and someday she will be a great hunter. But they mock her, insisting that only men can become great hunters. Hurt by their jeers, Pani puts her hands over her ears and runs and runs. Before she knows it she is far out on the polar ice, where she encounters the pale shape of a wounded polar bear cub. Now she must decide whether to hunt or help. "It's all right, Nanook," she says to the weakened cub. "I will take care of you."
Inspired by a traditional Inuit legend, The Polar Bear's Gift is about the compassion and resourcefulness of a young girl with ambitious dreams. It is Pani's trial and her triumph to discover that what makes a great hunter is not necessarily a straight aim. It is the lure of the heart on the cold arctic ice.