How the Stars Fell into the Sky is the retelling of a Navajo folktale that explains how First Woman tried to write the laws of the land using stars in the sky.
How the Stars Fell into the Sky: This retelling of a Navajo folktale explains how First Woman tried to write the laws of the land using stars in the sky, only to be thwarted by the trickster Coyote.
About the Author & Illustrator:
Jerrie Preston Oughton, a Georgia native, grew up in North Carolina where she graduated from Broughton High School. The English teacher who inspired noted novelist and Duke University Professor, Reynolds Price, Armistead Maupin, and novelist Anne Tyler, also touched a chord deep within Oughton. Jerrie dedicated her first book, How The Stars Fell Into The Sky to Phyllis Peacock. After graduation from Meredith College, where she was chosen Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year, Oughton taught elementary school in Raleigh.
Lisa Desimini is the author and/or illustrator of over 35 books for children. Lisa and her husband live in southern CA. Learn more about her here.
A Few Reviews:
“Oughton’s fine debut provides Desimini with the best vehicle she’s had for her spare, powerful style . . . A dramatically handsome setting for an especially noble Native American tale.” –Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
“I actually purchased this book because I loved the cover art, and the title, “How the Stars Fell into the Sky,” intrigued me. The image of the Navajo woman, star in hand, gazing up thoughtfully into the dark, “new” sky really captured and held my attention. I wanted to read this book! 🙂 I also felt that it would be worth sharing and discussing with my students. The illustrations are amazing; they feel warm, soft, and alive–not harsh or garish at all. Each image underscores the emotions and actions of this story of First Woman who wants to communicate laws to her people—present and future–in such away as the laws would always be accessible and always be remembered. She carefully places stars in certain patterns until the impatient, meddling Coyote offers to help–which eventually brings the woman grief and human beings confusion. What’s interesting about this story is the dynamic comparison / contrast that occurs with the main characters: First Man, First Woman, and Coyote. The First Man and the Coyote (Man and animal) are both extremely impatient to be getting onto other here and now “Life” activities while the First Woman considers the future, believing that writing the laws is necessary. Writing the laws requires time and careful efforts. It is a sacred duty she takes seriously. Thus, in this tale, the woman is the respectable, responsible, beyond-the-moment person and the dedicated law giver. (Some world legends and myths tend to place women in subservient roles and / or vilify them.) Her only mistake is trusting the Coyote to help her. [Perhaps, this is the warning embedded in the story: beware of “animal instincts,” “urges,” and haste because they can cause unhappiness, discord, and disorder.]” –Amazon Reviewer Arcturus70