How the Stars Fell Into the Sky: A Navajo Legend

Jerrie Oughton, Author, Lisa Desimini, Illustrator
Jerrie Oughton, Author, Lisa Desimini, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-395-58798-0
Reviewed on: 03/02/1992
Release date: 03/01/1992
According to the Navajos, the jumble of stars in the night sky reflects the disorders and confusion of life itself. In this lyrical retelling Oughton--in her first children's book--paints a picture of calm deliberation as, at the beginning of the world, First Woman determines to write the laws in the sky for all to see. So she positions her jewelry ``crafting her careful mosaic on the blackberry cloth of night.'' Coyote offers to help with this important task but becomes impatient and sends a cascade of stars hurtling into the night, creating chaos for all time. Oughton's text echoes First Woman's self-confidence and is sprinkled throughout with deft turns of phrase. Desimini's somber yet luminous art evokes nature's solemn beauty as it captures the silent mystery of the ``rim of night.'' Her solid, slightly static figures firmly place this fantasy-like world of the desert in reality. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
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