TIME-AGO LOST by Virginia Hamilton


More Tales of Jahdu
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There is no sunlight in Harlem the day Mama Luka tells Lee Edward the "dark and wiggly" story of Jahdu running to the east to look for light and time, which have vanished, and to be born again in his oven. Young readers might well concur with Mama Luka's description of the tale, for along with the giant Trouble and such simple abstractions from the Time-Ago Tales, Jahdu also runs into Yin (described as the "shade," who has become unduly strong) and Yang (warmth and light). Reborn as a fur-clad yellow boy with bow and arrow, Jahdu singiehandedly restores the world's balance by shooting the Goddess of Ying, an ancient turtle responsible for the changing seasons. The mechanics of all this are duly explained in the story, but just the same that fractious old Jahdu has got himself into some heavy weather here -- which so burdens him with import and responsibility that there's hardly time for tricks. In any case the Jahdu cycle ends fittingly when Lee Edward, troubled because Mama Luka is being relocated, dreams that he is running along with Jahdu, who builds a new house for Mama Luka and shows Lee Edward his oven (which -- of course -- is Mama Luka). On waking, Lee Edward is assured by his Daddy that indeed there will be time before Mama Luka moves for him to grow enough to travel by subway to visit her. Whether Jahdu has been enlarged or inflated is still a question; we'd prefer to let his younger followers, who will have no preconceptions about the symbolic characters, tell us if they find Time-Ago recaptured here.
Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1973
Publisher: Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1973


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