From School Library Journal
Grade 1–5—In this striking bilingual retelling of a Yoruba myth, Oloyou the Cat is the very first creature created by the God-child while he is still too young to know what he is doing. More importantly, Oloyou becomes God's first friend. They are happy until Oloyou falls into Nothing, which is an oceanic kingdom presided over by Okun Aró. When Oloyou falls in love with Okun Aró's beautiful daughter, the sea king's anger inadvertently sends them back into the heavens, where the God-child is reunited with his friend and bestows upon him a precious gift. While readers may not know much about the Yoruba tradition, fans of mythology will recognize common elements: a sea god at odds with the heavens; a beautiful daughter who is the subject of forbidden love; preservation by placement among the stars. The clarity of the writing makes this book suitable for reading aloud, while the complexity of the story will hold the interest of older readers. The oil-on-canvas illustrations are rich and bold with a mythic scope that incorporates the story's African-Caribbean roots. The images dominate the pages, holding their own against the Spanish and English versions. This is an outstanding addition for both Spanish-language and folktale collections.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
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God is still a child as this imaginative, though sometimes muddled, retelling of a Yoruban creation myth begins. Lonely because his world is still unformed, God-child creates a cat, Oloyou, from a cloud. The two play together happily until the cat loses his balance, plummeting into the nothingness of the “infinite Sea,” where he falls in love with Kandili, the sea god’s mermaid daughter. Expelled from this dark world, Kandili ultimately becomes the night sky and Oloyou a comet. The Cuban author of Old Dog (2007) and Letters to My Mother (2006) uses spare prose, presented in both Spanish and smoothly translated English, to mesh with Sada’s childlike art, which features expressive eyes and faces for the characters and hazy backgrounds to represent the unfinished earth. An obvious pick for bilingual collections, this also makes a good choice for introducing mythology to young readers; pair with James Sage’s Coyote Makes Man (1995), a myth with Native American origins. Grades K-3. --Kay Weisman