cover image THE STOLEN SUN: A Story of Native Alaska

THE STOLEN SUN: A Story of Native Alaska

Amanda Hall, . . Eerdmans, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8028-5225-0

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. (Feb.)