The Archaeology of North Pacific Fisheries
Edited by Madonna L. Moss and Aubrey Cannon (University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, $45)
The blurb: The volume illustrates how the archaeological record of fisheries across the Pacific coast reveals new information about ancient ways of life and the histories of key species, which in turn informs suggestions for sustainable fishing in today's changing environment.
Excerpt: "The Late Holocene is a time of rapid global climate change punctuated by warming and cooling events that have been widespread throughout the northern hemisphere. Paleoenvironmental reconstruction has long been used in archaeology to interpret the effects of such climate changes on prehistoric humans, and ecological research has become increasingly relevant as archaeologists begin to make connections between ancient and modern climate changes. As a result, reconstructions of Late Holocene climate and environment are widely applied to address hypotheses about human-environmental interactions and the effects of climate change on prehistoric populations.
"Despite the global nature of these events, their timing and magnitude is debated, and research indicates that climate variation is rarely regionally consistent. The effect of regional climate and environmental change on local areas varies widely, and geography plays a significant role in paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Therefore, details about the local effects of these changes are vital, and applying nonlocal paleoenvironmental reconstructions to archaeological interpretation is potentially problematic."
Musher's Night Before Christmas
By Tricia Brown, illustrated by Debra Dubac (Pelican, $16.99)
The blurb: Rudolph's nose light is worn out, and Nome is the last stop on Santa's around-the-world delivery run. With the town in a bad snowstorm, it's up to a musher named Tom and his team of dogs to help Santa get to his last stop.
Excerpt: "Twas the night before Christmas at the top of the world,
"And above North Pole, Santa's flag was unfurled,
"Shining bright in the darkness, candy-caned red and white.
"At the sight of its splendor, throngs cheered with delight.
"Not an elf missed the send-off; every year without pause,
"They pounded their mittens in muffled applause.
"Overhead on huge speakers, Christmas experts shared facts
"About rooftops and reindeer, their hooves and their racks.
" 'A little-known fact,' one said into the mic.
" 'All reindeer grow antlers, male and female alike.'
'Unreal!' said the other, his voice filled with mirth.
" 'It's a beautiful night for a run 'round the earth."
Blackie's Day Out
By Teresa Ward, illustrated by Juliana Ward (Friesen Press)
The blurb: Written and illustrated by a mother and daughter in Fairbanks, this children's book is narrated by Blackie, an Alaska malamute, as he goes on adventures with his "Mama Lady."
Excerpt: "I think the Mama Lady is going to town. I hope she will take me with her!
" 'Bye-bye Blackie Boy, I'll see you later! You watch over the house, and keep your brother company.'
"If I give Mama that special look, I bet she will let me go with her...
" 'Well now, I see you would like to go to town with Mama, Blackie Boy! Okay, how can I say 'no' to that sweet face!' "
-- Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News