Long ago, the Old Ones were bad. They drank all the water, ate all the pine nuts, and left nothing for the other creatures. Sinawav the coyote punished them by turning them into rocky hoodoos. Now when children misbehave, their Paiute elders remind them that they too could be turned into stone columns! Vivian has heard the stories, but this year as she and her grandmother climb the mesa to pick pine nuts, Vivian has something more important on her mind: basketball tryouts. When Vivian is disrespectful to the trees and the land, her grandmother must remind Vivian of the legend of the hoodoos and how nature has made it possible for her people to live.
As the sun begins to set, arctic animals scurry to prepare for six months of darkness and cold. Tuktuk the collared lemming is almost ready for the long winter night all he needs is warm fur to line his nest. When one furry kamik (boot) slips off an Inuit drivers sled, Tuktuk is in luck! But as he drags it home, Putak the polar bear, Aput the arctic fox, and Masak the caribou eye this little lemmings prize and want it for their own. Can Tuktuk outwit the other animals and convince them that one furry kamik is no good for anyone bigger than a lemming?