Debby Dahl Edwardson

writing from the top of the world

Whale Snow

The snow fell in big flakes, fat as eider down. The snow fell soft and slow like shreds of cotton grass floating down from the sky. Amiqqaq leaned up against the window, wishing he were out on the ocean ice, out in the big white tent with his Papa, out with the whalers.

Praise for Whale Snow

"The satisfying story underscores cultural differences by portraying Amiqqaq's growing awareness of the spiritual connection between the whale and his people. . . . Teachers looking for picture books on Arctic people will find this a good read-aloud choice for preschool and primary-grade classes."


"In Amiqqaq’s village, “fat snow” is Whale Snow, occurring when a bowhead whale has given itself to the people. That is what Amiqqaq’s grandma, his Aaka, tells him; and soon, Papa comes to take Amiqqaq to see the body of the Amiqqaq whale, whose name the child bears. As the villagers come to honor the whale, and Momma and Aaka prepare a huge feast, Amiqqaq is full of questions, most of which are answered by “you’ll see.” After a while, he begins to understand that the spirit of the whale, the thing he has been seeking, is “fat snow and strong wind,” it’s “right here in my house, making people smile and laugh.” Patterson’s illustrations, in fluid watercolors and soft tones, perfectly complement this gentle story."


"Filled with joy, this tale about a loving family and a caring community is something all youngsters can understand. An intriguing glimpse into another culture."

—School Library Journal

• NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
• Banks Street Best
• Independent Publishers, Best Picture Book of the Year
• International Reading Association, Notable Books for a Global Society

My Writing

" extraordinary tale of love, betrayal, and above all, survival." Ellen Levine
Writing for Young People
a novel for young people about love, loss and finding your way home.
A celebration of family and community.