From Publishers Weekly
Hall's (Sunday, Moonday) glorious illustrations redeem the meandering narrative in this tale of second chance. Angered when he sees humankind taking the fertile world for granted, Raven hides the sun. An opening spread of an idyllic village where people and animals lived peacefully side by side gives way to a succeeding spread of forest fires, men preying on whales and deer pursued by spears. Hall portrays icy hues of blue and violet blanketing the earth as Raven carries out his punishment, though the moon and stars never leave the sky. But Raven also leaves something behind: a single feather. When a woman swallows the feather, she gives birth to a magical boy who one day redeems the world by bringing back the sun. Though younger readers may lose track of the action or grow impatient for the denouement, the detailed pictures should hold their attention. Hall possesses the aesthetic sensibility of an accomplished muralist: her panoramic sense of space and elegantly stylized characterizations are ideal for conveying the heightened reality and incantatory pull of myth. At the same time, the meticulousness of her brushstrokes and the swooping, rolling shape of her lines and textures give the spreads an intimacy and dynamism. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-Hall blends themes and motifs from Native Alaskan lore to weave her original tale. Raven has come from his home above the sky and discovered the world below. He creates people and animals to inhabit its mountains, rivers, and forests, and gives the people a special song to remind them to respect the life around them. When they become greedy and violent and forget the song, he tears the sun from the sky, leaving the world to freeze. When he returns to his home above the sky, he leaves one small feather behind. It is swallowed by a woman who later gives birth to a son, "Little Darkness," and it is this child who frees the imprisoned sun from the icy mountain. Hall has a solid storyteller's voice, and her telling emerges with a refreshing smoothness and clarity. Her folk-style illustrations are an appropriate match, ranging from detailed panoramas of the world below to an angry Raven who encompasses a full spread. The use of color is striking, with chilly blues and slightly eerie greens. An attractive addition for most collections.Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.