This story was about a girl (elementary-aged) that had the responsibility of going under the ice to collect food during a very tide-dependent time. The family lived in a part of Alaska where the ice that freezes over the water eventually gets to a point where the ice is still in tact but the liquid water follows high and low tide and the ocean floor is exposed when the tide goes out. It was an important source of food for the family and the story is about her very first time going down alone to collect clams, oysters, etc. Her mom saws a hole open in the ice for her to jump down and explore. She had done it many times with her mother but this was her first time alone and by the end of the book, she realizes she will never have that “first time” experience again. When she is down under the ice, she gets too far from the hole she jumped in and realizes she is lost and the tide starts to come back in. There is a time of panic and then she remembers to follow the glimpse of light to find her way out. The storybook had beautiful drawings and the title is initially what drew me to it.
I think the phrase Very Last First Time is very powerful. There is a first for everything you do and it will be your only time that it happens. I love this overall saying for any class setting. Also, the girl was able to overcome an obstacle based on her problem-solving skills and this lesson/skill has always stuck with me. I hope to teach the students that they are capable of anything and they need to be the first ones to realize that. Besides the overall meaning of the book, I think a lesson could be made out of tides and how the girl in the book knew what danger that meant for her. Earth’s tides are so moving (pun intended) and this book could easily be a SPARK to a lesson/activity on tides.