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The Boy Who Found the Light (1990)

Dale DeArmond
Published by Sierra Club Book / Little, Brown and Co.
62 pages

Editor's note: this book contains twenty-seven wood engraving illustrations, which were created over a few years. Click on any image below for more information (where available).

Synopsis from the book:
These three Eskimo folktales tell of a fascinating world where magic and everyday life meet, and where animals and people dwell on equal terms and take on one another's attributes with ease. Created by a people on intimate terms with nature, these traditional stories deal with the origins of natural phenomena like the sun, the stars, and the wind, and they convey the relationship between humans and other animals as one of mutual cooperation and respect.

Two of the stories concern humble children who are given powerful magic, as well as the help of nature, in order to bring life into the world. In "The Boy Who Found the Light," the orphan Tulugac sets out to do what even powerful shamans have failed to do – bring the sun and moon to his dark village. In "The Doll," Yuguk, who magically grows from a carved wooden doll into a real boy, opens the windows of the sky wall to bring forth the grasses and flowers, the snow and ice, the animals of the world, and all the other gifts of nature.

In "The Raven and the Marmot," animals play the leading roles. They take on human attributes with humorous effect, as the trickster marmot outwits the vain, silly raven.

Accompanying these lively tales are stunning wood engravings by Dale DeArmond. The glitter of a snow shower, the flash of a raven's wing, the stern, strong faces of the village elders – all are captured in stylized detail that enhances the magical quality of the stories.

This is a collection to be treasured and wondered over, as well as a window to an ancient culture sensitive to the ways of the earth and its creatures.

Original price: $16.95
ISBN: 9780316177870
ISBN: 0-316-17787-3