One of the things myths do well is remind us not to get discouraged when the odds are stacked terribly against us. In this Inuit story tailored for four-to-eight-year-old readers, Raven flies through a hole in the sky and discovers an entire uninhabited world beneath a bright sun. So he creates people and creatures, and gives "a song to the people, to remind them to love and respect the life around them."

Many years later, in a dark and violent time when people have forgotten Raven's song, he grows angry at this betrayal, tucks the sun under his wing, and flies back through the sky-hole with it. Vowing never to return, he plucks one breast feather as a farewell, and it drifts slowly toward a cold, forsaken earth. It lands in a ladle of water, and after a woman drinks from it, she gives birth to a baby boy she names Little Darkness.

The tale of how he finds a curious mask shaped like a bird's head, sprouts wings, and flies up through the hole in the sky makes up the heart of the story. Even when a raven tries to stop the intruder and when the boy must hack his way up a mountainside to approach the tantalizing warmth and light of the sun, he does not give up. He follows this quest instinctively, not even knowing exactly what he seeks, and he returns with much more than he even knew could be granted — not only to him but to all earth's inhabitants.

You may recognized Amanda Hall's name from Little Bear and Brother Giovanni's Little Reward, both of which she illustrated. She is renowned worldwide for her wonderfully decorative and colorful children's books, to which this is a proud addition.

Kelly Berthelsen is an Inuit author, poet, translator, and politician who advocates for Greenlandic culture, literature, and indigenous rights. In his Foreword to the book, he tells of the history of the strong ties between ravens and humankind, and concludes: "Let us then have respect for one another — for humans and for all living creatures — since all our lives are intertwined, just like we and the ravens are connected."