A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids gain exposure to Mesoamerican folklore through long-ago stories from Mexico and Central America. Included are elements borrowed from traditional tales -- The Great Ceiba, Rabbit and the Moon, Opossum and the Sun's Fire, Maguey and Aguiamiel
Themes include curiosity, courage, humility, and teamwork. Imparts life lessons about the power of friendship, cooperation, forgiveness, and the importance of finding light even in the darkest places.
Positive Role Models
Rabbit is strong and caring. He's also forgiving. Opossum is curious and courageous. He shows humility, feeling regret for his missteps and working to right his wrongs.
Only features animal characters from Mesoamerican folklore but offers a window into a different culture and its rich mythology.
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Violence & Scariness
Under the night's sky, dark scenes include larger than life plants and may give off a sense of peril. Opossum travels to the depths of the earth to find fire, but nothing truly scary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ancient Night, written by Mexican-American author David Bowles and beautifully illustrated by David Alvarez, is a gorgeous picture book adventure that weaves together Mesoamerican legends -- including the Rabbit and the Moon and Opossum and the Sun's Fire -- into a marvelous tale of unlikely friendship and finding balance between light and dark. Worth noting that this is Alvarez's first full-color endeavor; his renowned black-and-white illustrations have gained fame in his home country of Mexico and across the globe. Award-winning author David Bowles lends his poetic voice, crafting a lyrical story that beautifully recounts ancient tales and compliments Alvarez's lush illustrations. A "Note from the Creators" at the end of this book recounts several traditional stories of Mesoamerica and explains some of the elements included in this picture book. Simultaneously published in Spanish as Noche Antigua.
Is It Any Good?
David Bowels's lyrical text beautifully carries the story from one page to the next and makes this tale simple enough for even the youngest readers to enjoy. Alvarez's rich illustrations in Ancient Night bring this unique story to life through textured animal portraits and shimmering stars in the night sky. A wonderful picture book for parents and kids to savor together and a great introduction to folktales and mythology. When paired with its Spanish counterpart, this story becomes a valuable resource for bilingual families wanting to introduce their children to the stories of their Central American ancestors. A great book for families to read together in English and Spanish!
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Our Editors Recommend
Bilingual Books (English/Spanish)
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