A Fijian princess and her daughter paddle through the green and glassy sea, to the far reef to catch fish in this reworking of several myths from Wolfson (Marriage of the Rain Goddess, 1996). They are carried off by men intent on populating another island. The princess and her daughter sing to the sea god, who intervenes, causing a storm that capsizes the canoe. The heroines tumble into the sea where they are turned into sea turtles. They explain to grieving friends back home that they are happy in the sea, and will come when the people sing. The watercolors feature a riotous display of palm trees, frolicking sea turtles, fish, and islanders; these scenes capture the spirit of the myth better than the somewhat stilted text that lacks most of the poetry of Wolfson’s previous book. (Picture book/folklore. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 31, 1999

ISBN: 1-885223-95-1

Page Count: 29

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1999



Mama God, Papa God ($15.95; Apr. 26; 32 pp.; 1-56656-307-0): The creation story takes a whimsical Caribbean turn in a seamless blend of religion and folk-art set in Haiti. Tired of living in darkness, Papa God creates light, then goes on to make the world as a beautiful gift for Mama God. Together, they design a detailed world filled with brilliance, love, and humor. Highly stylized illustrations rich in primary colors show the progress of creation as animals, birds, water, fish, wind, and rain take their place in the world. This unusual rendition of the creation tale sings to a calypso beat and gives a strikingly different and exuberant interpretation of how the world began. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: April 26, 1999

ISBN: 1-56656-307-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Interlink

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999


A beguiling retelling of a 19th-century Lincolnshire tale that fairly dances with an impatience to be read aloud. Mouth-filling words dot this story, the context making them easily understood while taking away none of their mystery. Bogles and other horrid things live in the cracks and cinders and sleep in the fields in the old times, and at darkling every night folk walk round their houses with lights in their hands to keep the mischancy beings away. In autumn, “they sang hush-a-bye songs in the fields, for the earth was tired” and they fear the winters when the bogles have nothing to do but make mischief. As the year turns, they wake the earth from its sleeping each spring, and welcome the green mist that brings new growth. In one family, a child pines, longing for the green mist to return with the sun. Through the long winter she grows so weak her mother must carry her to the doorsill, so she can crumble the bread and salt onto the earth to hail the spring. The green mist comes, scented with herbs and green as grass, and the child thrives, once again “running about like a sunbeam.” The green, gold, brown, and gray of the watercolors show fields and haycocks, knobby-kneed children and raw-boned elders, a counterpoint to the rich text. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-90013-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

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