Journey of the Nightly Jaguar

Overview

In the setting sun, raindrops darken into spotted markings and the nightly jaguar begins his journey through the dark jungle, where the wind whistles to the monkey's chatter. As the night ends, he climbs into the canopy at the jungle's edge, springs into the ocean, and rises again with the sun.

Burton Albert's text was inspired by a Mayan urn from A.D. 600 - 900. The paintings by Robert Roth bring his special vision to the poetry as they evoke ...

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Overview

In the setting sun, raindrops darken into spotted markings and the nightly jaguar begins his journey through the dark jungle, where the wind whistles to the monkey's chatter. As the night ends, he climbs into the canopy at the jungle's edge, springs into the ocean, and rises again with the sun.

Burton Albert's text was inspired by a Mayan urn from A.D. 600 - 900. The paintings by Robert Roth bring his special vision to the poetry as they evoke the mystery of the lordly jaguar's journey through the night.

In this Maya legend the sun becomes a jaguar at night, stalking through the jungle until it appears again as the sun in the eastern sky.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This lovely tale of the jaguar comes from Mayan folklore. Its poetic language and mysterious watercolor illustrations depict the legend of the jaguar-the god of the who sun slowly creeps about at night, unseen until he springs forth in the morning. A sentimental look at a beautiful creature now endangered in its Central American habitat.
School Library Journal
Gr 3 UpInspired by the glyphs on a Mayan terra-cotta urn, Albert has written this evocative poem whose primitive cadence and descriptive vocabulary suggest the simplistic, primordial beliefs of the ancient people. The spare (five-sentence) text and large double-page paintings illustrate the repetitive pattern of day and night-the great spotted jaguar steals through jungle, mountains, valleys, rivers and ocean, finally leaping to meet the rising sun and repeat the cycle. Brief notes at the beginning and end introduce the Maya and mention the jaguar's endangered status and an attempt to preserve the species. Many of Roth's watercolor illustrations have a batik-like appearance; leaves in varied greens and teals look like layers of colored tissue paper. The musical quality of this lovely, but very special poem is most evident when it is read aloud. A discussion of its meaning can be used to enrich the study of Mayan beliefs.Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
The setting sun and raindrops become a jaguar at night, stalking in the jungle, in this story inspired by the markings on a terracotta urn made by the Mayans sometime between the seventh and tenth centuries a.d. Albert (Where Does the Trail Lead?, 1991, etc.) notes in the introduction that the Mayans believed the gods sometimes took the form of animals. In the main text, the jaguar hunts at night, becomes the morning sun, and rises a glorious red.

This book will puzzle all but the most precocious of readers; it is hard to figure out what's happening from the text and illustrations. The poetic text sometimes strings a sentence over as many as six pages, pushing readers forward, while dreamy scenes of soft pink, purple, and green watercolors and torn, textured paper draw readers in for careful looking. Yet to pause over a painting is to lose the sense of the text, already complicated by difficult phrases such as "luring the creature on his journey of return." The book is visually interesting but not successful as a story nor poetic meditation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416970927
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 12/17/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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