Ancient Night

Levine ­Querido. Mar. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781646142514.
PreS-Gr 2–Mesmerizing illustrations combine with poetic text to share this Mesoamerican-inspired story about how the sun came to be high in the sky. Rabbit takes care to watch over the moon, ensuring it never stops glowing and refilling it often with aguamiel. When Opossum sees this, he wishes to have some of the aguamiel, but as he takes for himself, the moon grows darker. Ashamed, Opossum hides until he decides to obtain the fire of the gods, singeing his tail in the process, and places the fire high in the sky—now the new sun. Luminous acrylic and oil illustrations bring the night to life, with the glow of the moon and the aguamiel lighting up the world for Rabbit and Opossum, and dark blues, greens, and reds adding to the captivating atmosphere. Enchanting text presents the tale in short, clear sentences that convey a sense of timeless mystery and beauty. A note from the creators shares some of the traditional stories that inspired the picture book.
VERDICT An excellent choice for picture book collections that uniquely explores traditional Mesoamerican tales and is sure to inspire the wish for further discovery and appreciation.

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