________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 7. . . .October 21, 2016


Raven Brings Back the Sun: A Tale from Canada. (Tales of Honor).

Suzanne I. Barchers. Illustrated by Angela Oliynk.
South Egremont, MA: Red Chair Press (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2015.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.72 (pbk.), $22.82 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-939656-81-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-939656-80-3 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Sun-Juvenile fiction.
Ravens-Juvenile fiction.
Night-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Alicia Cheng.

***˝ /4



As I promised, I have brought back the light. Hereafter, it will be light, then dark, then light again, so our people will always appreciate the daylight,” he pronounced.

And so it is to this day.


Raven Brings Back the Sun is Inuit folklore explaining why daylight disappears during the winter months in the far north of Canada. The villagers beg the shamans to create and repeat the same charms, hoping to bring back the sun and the moon. Seeing that the charms are not working, a young orphan boy, with the help of a black coat he made, transforms into a raven and heads to the south lands with his aunt’s advice. Finally reaching a hut far far away, he uses his wit to get a ball of light, transforms back into a raven, and brings the light back to his people.

     Many folktales explain day and night, sunlight and darkness, and Raven Brings Back the Sun is an Inuit account of this natural event. Beautifully illustrated and well-written, the book’s language is easily accessible to young readers who can begin to understand how the Inuit believe the sun’s return to the far north came to be. Very symbolic in native folklore, the raven represents various symbols including change, healing, and messenger. These are very fitting of this tale celebrating transformation and being a bearer of light. Included at the end is a glossary of terms to know and discussion questions that will be useful for teachers teaching their students Canadian history. Raven Brings Back the Sun is part of the “Tales of Honor” series presenting traditional folk tales, myths, and legends from around the world. I highly recommend this folklore version to young readers needing an accessible and easy to understand way to learn and begin to discover Inuit history.

Highly Recommended.

Alicia Cheng is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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