First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (InfoSoup)
A companion book for Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal, this picture book looks at creation stories from around the world. From the very beginning of how the universe was formed, then how the earth was formed, how human beings came about and then the animals as well, this book combines a myriad of different cultures into one story with various voices and points of view. With all of the differences, the book still manages to show the universal elements of creation stories and how looking at different cultures allows us to celebrate our humanity as one.
Fleischman captures phrases from different cultures in the book. Structuring the elements into a story all of its own, he allows each culture’s differences to show but also focuses them into a cohesive whole as well. While cultures may differ on how the universe was formed, there is a sense of wholeness in looking at it from so many points of view. The universal aspects shine and the differences ensure that we are still seeing the cultures themselves and their uniqueness.
The illustrations by Paschkis are beautifully elemental, showing each culture, celebrating each one separately. The illustrations also label each culture or region of origin for the story fragments, allowing readers to see the roots of the different stories and how they reflect the area they come from.
Vividly presented, this picture book look at creation itself is a dynamic view of our world’s cultures as well. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
Reviewed from library copy.