Irrepressible trickster Raven gets his comeuppance when he annoys his friend Loon in a humorous tale based on Inuit folklore.
Both Raven and Loon were once unremarkably cloaked in plain white feathers—“stuck without colour,” according to the tale. Severely bored by the plainness of his plumage, Raven approaches the more staid Loon and suggests that they help each other improve their looks. Raven is clever and artistic, and he does a lovely job with Loon’s feathers. But following his success, Raven becomes so twitchy, chatty and annoying that he provokes Loon, who prides herself on her craft, to irritation. The unfortunate result involves a stone lamp full of soot and has consequences for the pair that can be seen to this day. The exchange is very funny—the Qitsualik-Tinsleys ably distill the essence of Raven’s impulsive and incorrigible verbosity. The rhythms of the story hint at the voice of the storytellers and also translate well to the printed page—easy to read, compact and punchy. Smith’s cover and title pages are striking—spiky feathers for Raven and smoother ones for Loon, along with deep blues that hint at a kind of arctic chill. The interior illustrations are lively and animated, and if a bit more ordinary, they offer a clear visual story for listeners.
Folklore invitingly told and presented for a young audience. (Picture book/folk tale. 4-8)