LORD OF THE SKY by Linda Zeman-Spaleny


by and illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Created by a Czech-born author-illustrator team of sisters, this vividly told cautionary tale was inspired by their parents’ animated short film of the same name (1992). Long ago, before life itself, the Great Raven brought the sun to the North Pacific Coast, but ages later, when a boy kills a raven with an arrow, the sun vanishes. The legend’s bird-loving boy-hero is the only one brave enough to get help from the Lord of the Sky, the Thunderbird, to restore the world’s warmth and light. In the end, a small group of modern-day children is shown reverently regarding a bird, as the author implores a new generation to care for the world or lose it to darkness. The gorgeous, intricate pencil, colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations evoke richly hued tapestries, and the totem pole–laden coastlines are populated by cartoonish villagers and bug-eyed ravens that enliven the somber story. Unfortunately, the bold horizontal “sprocket holes” on every page, intended to link the book to the original film, distract the eye from the artwork’s delicate beauty. (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-88776-896-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009