A Promise Is A Promise happened on a tour of the Northwest Territories. Whenever I went through Rankin Inlet, flying from one place to another, I would stay with the family of Michael Kusugak. Michael started telling me Inuit stories that they use to keep kids from getting hurt. They have a monster who lives under the ice and the idea of that story is to keep kids from falling through the cracks in the ice. There are other monsters who live on the tundra and grab kids as soon as their parents can’t see them. The idea of these monsters is to keep kids from walking over the horizon, getting lost and freezing to death. After I left, Michael sent me a story about his own meeting with one of the ice monsters. I said “Hey, this is pretty neat.” I sent it to my publisher but they didn’t like it. So I changed it around a lot and sent it back to Michael and he changed it around a lot and sent it back to me. We sent it back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and finally it turned into this story called A Promise Is A Promise. The pictures in the story are very strange. The lady who did the pictures is named Vladyana Krykorka. She is in Toronto, she has never been to the Northwest Territories. She took all the pictures I took on my trip and also the pictures that Michael Kusugak’s brother-in-law had in Toronto to be put into a book about the Northwest Territories. For the people in the book she lifted people’s faces directly out of photographs. So, the girl named Allashua in A Promise Is A Promise has the face of Julia from Eskimo Point. The father is named Medard. He is from Chesterfield Inlet. Everybody in the book is somebody real from the west side of Hudson’s Bay, only they are not all in the same family. She took people from different families and glued them together into one family.
A Promise is a Promise
Written by Robert Munsch.
Illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka.
Published by Annick Press, 1992.