HOW NIGHT CAME FROM THE SEA: A Story from Brazil by Mary-Joan -- Adapt. Gerson
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HOW NIGHT CAME FROM THE SEA: A Story from Brazil

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A creation tale recorded by Elsie Spicer Eells in Fairy Tales from Brazil (1917). Gerson explains that she has adapted the Bahian legend by replacing a male sea serpent with Iemanjá, a sea goddess who appears in CandomblÉ, the complex religion that merges African gods with Catholic saints, from which the story is derived. In the beginning, darkness is absent on land. When Iemanjá's daughter leaves the sea's depths to marry in ""the land of daylight,"" she loves the shimmering sands and brilliant colors but pines for ""cool shadows and dark, quiet corners."" Her husband sends three servants to Iemanjá to fetch some darkness; the goddess gives it to them willingly, in a bag they're warned not to open, since ""only [my daughter] can calm the night spirits."" Of course, the curious servants let loose the stars, the moon, and all the creatures of the night. Still, the daughter is able to calm them, and the world rejoices in the ""hushed darkness"" that allows sleep. Golembe, whose illustrations for Gerson's Why the Sky Is FarAway (1992) were widely praised, uses the same delicately inlined flat black figures, vibrant tropical colors, and boldly expressive forms for the handsome illustrations here. The lyrically retold story makes a rich contrast to other creation myths. A beautiful book that will find many uses.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"