The Day Sun Was Stolen

Description

40 pages
$19.95
ISBN 1-895340-08-X
DDC j398.2'09711'01089972

Publisher

Year

1995

Contributor

Illustrations by Sharon Hitchcock
Reviewed by Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual’s
Children’s Literature edition.

Review

“When the world was new, Raven created all the animals,” including
Seal, Beaver, and Bear. But Bear’s fur coat was extra thick because
Raven rolled his ball of clay back and forth through the moss. This made
Bear so hot when Sun was shining that he packed his mouth with ice and
gulped Sun out of the sky, hiding him in his cave. The world turned grey
and dismal. Finally, a young boy outsmarted Bear by shaving off half his
fur while he slept and throwing it to the wind. Bear woke up shivering
and was forced to return Sun to the sky. The other animals collected
Bear’s fur and kept it to add to their own in the cold winter.

This masterful retelling of the Haida legend demonstrates clearly that
myths and legends hold psychological truths that transcend culture. A
note at the end of the book tells us that the Haida people believed
that, in the beginning, human beings and animals and spirits could move
freely among each other, trading form at will. This legend draws us into
that belief system and persuades us to suspend our disbelief. Sharon
Hitchcock’s brightly colored illustrations are drawn from Haida images
and totems. Black-and-white totemistic images border the pictures, each
of which is a two-page spread. Highly recommended.

Citation

Oliviero, Jamie., “The Day Sun Was Stolen,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/19450.