Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pup and Pokey: Seth Kantner’s newest book (by Paul Greci)

I read and totally enjoyed the first two of Alaskan author Seth Kanter’s books: Ordinary Wolves (2005 Milkweed Press), and Shopping for Porcupine (2008 Milkweed Press). So, when Seth came out with another book this year, I couldn’t resist; I bought it and read it, and loved it!

Pup and Pokey is Kantner's first book for young readers.

Cover copy:

A boisterous wolf pup and an awkward young porcupine are unlikely allies in this tale of friendship set on Alaska's tundra. The two grow up as neighbors, but only through helping each other escape from a trapper do they learn what it means truly to be friends.

Gently inspired by the fable of "The Lion and the Mouse," "Pup and Pokey” teaches young readers about living in the wilderness and the sometimes unexpected connections that arise in our lives. "Pup and Pokey" is the first children's book from acclaimed Alaska author Seth Kantner. With Kantner's storytelling and Beth Hill's original illustrations, "Pup and Pokey "is a touching outdoor adventure story.

ISBN-10: 1602232415
ISBN-13: 9781602232419
Published: University of Alaska Press, 09/01/2014
Pages: 48
Language: English

Recommended Reading Level Minimum Age: 4
Maximum Age: 8
Minimum Grade Level: P
Maximum Grade Level: 3rd Grade

Pup and Pokey would make a great read aloud book in both school and home settings as well as being good for independent reading. Even though the publisher-recommended reading- (ages 4 to 8) and grade-levels (up to 3rd) are on the young side I think this book would hold the interest and generate lively discussion with older readers as well.

A little bit more about Seth (taken from his website):

He's worked as a fisherman, trapper, gardener, mechanic, igloo builder and adjunct professor. His writings and photographs have appeared in Outside, Alaska Geographic, the New York Times, Prairie Schooner, and in other magazines, literary journals and anthologies. He's a former columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and presently writes a bi-monthly dispatch on climate change in the Arctic for Orion magazine. He was born and raised in northern Alaska and his art reflects his love for this land and the animals who live on it, and his belief in the importance of wildness left wild.

Personally, I heard Seth speak at a conference several years ago and then afterwards spoke to him for a few minutes about writing and publishing. He’s a genuine person with a great love for wild places, which totally shines through his fiction and nonfiction. I’ll probably read every book he comes out with in the years to come.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Paul, I love your spotlights on Alaskan authors. Good to know this is a good read-aloud!

  2. I love how you take your expertise and passion -- Alaska authors and stories -- and share it with us.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!