Ancient Night (Hardcover)

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Ancient Night By David Alvarez (Illustrator), David Bowles Cover Image

Ancient Night (Hardcover)

By David Alvarez (Illustrator), David Bowles

$18.99


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Publishers Weekly Best of the Year
BookPage Best of the Year
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard
Evanston Library Best of the Year
Horn Book 2023 Summer Reading List


“Vivid and vibrant.” —NPR Weekend Edition

At the start of things, the elders say,
the universe was hushed and still.
The moon alone shone bright and round in the star-speckled dark of the sky.


David Álvarez is one of the most extraordinary artists working today. His black-and-white illustrations have gained fame in his home country of Mexico and around the world.

Here, in Ancient Night (Noche Antigua), David displays his immense talent with full-color illustrations for the first time.

Ancient Night is a twist on two Nahuatl traditions: the rabbit which the Feathered Serpent placed on the moon, and Yaushu, the Lord Opossum who ruled the earth before humans came, and who stole fire from the gods to create the sun.

Award-winning author David Bowles has written a poetic text – and carefully researched backmatter – to accompany David’s lush illustrations and story. Published simultaneously in English and Spanish editions, Ancient Night offers young readers everywhere the chance to savor this ancient tale in its most beautiful format possible.

P R A I S E

★ "Bolstered by the ethereal, whimsical text, the plush, incandescent acrylic and oil paint artwork gathers the subtleties and splendors of nighttime and the plant life that surrounds Rabbit and Opossum. Together words and images tug readers along at a measured pace. An excellent authors’ note underscores how common strands and crucial differences from wide-ranging Mesoamerican legends and myths furnish the inspiration at the roots of this tale. Like a mighty dream recalled from time gone by."
Kirkus (starred)

★ "Luminous acrylic and oil illustrations bring the night to life... Enchanting text presents the tale in short, clear sentences that convey a sense of timeless mystery and beauty... 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."
School Library Journal (starred)

★ “Bowles’ spare, evocative text flows like poetry… Álvarez’s compositions are sophisticated and uncluttered… beautifully crafted, gently stylized figures so remarkably textured that you can almost count the number of hairs on Rabbit’s body. Ancient Night is wondrous, sparkling and easily one of the best picture books of 2023.”
BookPage (starred)

★ “Bowles’s unhurried lines offer a playfully elegant feel to the telling, while Álvarez’s saturated digitized paintings use a limited palette to imagine long-eared, gray Rabbit and pointy-nosed, rust-hued Opossum against luminous leafy landscapes. Together, the collaborators create a dreamlike story variation that truly shines.”
Publishers Weekly (starred)

★ “Unmissable… The breathtaking illustrations exude light themselves…”
Foreword Reviews (starred)

★ “Stunning illustrations by acclaimed Mexican artist Álvarez feature a velvety black backdrop of a sky, stars providing only pinpricks of light...spellbinding, poetic text is lyrical but crisp.”
Horn Book (starred)

“A calming selection for evening lap reads and storytimes.”
BCCB

“A perfect bedtime read aloud. This Mesoamerican-inspired fable borrows from old tales for a larger-than-life yet soothingly illustrated picture book.”
Shelf-Awareness

“Exquisite.”
—Melissa Taylor, Imagination Soup

“Álvarez’s illustrations alone are enough to make this stunning picture book a winner—the dreamy feel of the milky moonlight against the deep-dark night and the crisp simplicity of the animals and their world is masterful. When paired with interwoven traditional Mesoamerican tales of the magic and power of our lunar companion, the story sings, enchanting readers with its mystery and beauty. Don’t miss this one!”
—Southern Bookseller Review
David Álvarez is a graduate of the School of Design of the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico (EDINBA) and the winner of numerous international illustration awards. Ancient Night is his first book published in English.

David Bowles is a Mexican American author and translator from South Texas. Among his multiple award-winning books are Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico, and They Call Me Güero. His translation of The Sea-Ringed World garnered a Batchelder Honor and was a finalist for the International Latino Book Award. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.


 
Product Details ISBN: 9781646142514
ISBN-10: 1646142519
Publisher: Levine Querido
Publication Date: March 14th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English
“Álvarez’s illustrations alone are enough to make this stunning picture book a winner—the dreamy feel of the milky moonlight against the deep-dark night and the crisp simplicity of the animals and their world is masterful. When paired with interwoven traditional Mesoamerican tales of the magic and power of our lunar companion, the story sings, enchanting readers with its mystery and beauty. Don’t miss this one!” — Southern Bookseller Review

[STAR]  “Bowles’ spare, evocative text flows like poetry… Álvarez’s compositions are sophisticated and uncluttered… beautifully crafted, gently stylized figures so remarkably textured that you can almost count the number of hairs on Rabbit’s body. Ancient Night is wondrous, sparkling and easily one of the best picture books of 2023.”

— BookPage (starred)



“Vivid and vibrant.” – NPR Weekend Edition



“David Alvarez and David Bowles draw on several traditional stories of Mesoamerica (now known as Mexico and Central America) to craft, through stunning art and lyrical text, a picture book sure to become a classic.” – Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Parent

[STAR] "Bolstered by the ethereal, whimsical text, the plush, incandescent acrylic and oil paint artwork gathers the subtleties and splendors of nighttime and the plant life that surrounds Rabbit and Opossum. Together words and images tug readers along at a measured pace. An excellent authors’ note underscores how common strands and crucial differences from wide-ranging Mesoamerican legends and myths furnish the inspiration at the roots of this tale. Like a mighty dream recalled from time gone by.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

[STAR]  “Mesmerizing. Captivating. Enchanting.” —School Library Journal (starred)

"A perfect bedtime read aloud. This Mesoamerican-inspired fable borrows from old tales for a larger-than-life yet soothingly illustrated picture book.”— Shelf-Awareness

[STAR]  “Stunning illustrations by acclaimed Mexican artist Álvarez feature a velvety black backdrop of a sky, stars providing only pinpricks of light...spellbinding, poetic text is lyrical but crisp.” — Horn Book (starred)

[STAR] “Unmissable…The breathtaking illustrations exude light themselves…” — Foreword Reviews (starred)

“A calming selection for evening lap reads and storytimes.” 

— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



[STAR]  “Bowles’s unhurried lines offer a playfully elegant feel to the telling, while Álvarez’s saturated digitized paintings use a limited palette to imagine long-eared, gray Rabbit and pointy-nosed, rust-hued Opossum against luminous leafy landscapes. Together, the collaborators create a dreamlike story variation that truly shines.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

Horn Book 2023 Summer Reading List