“Waa’aka’ was born when the earth was soft and the waters were new. It was the beginning of time.” So begins Cindi Alvitre’s vivid and multifaceted telling of a traditional Tongva creation story from Southern California. Waa’aka’ follows the title character, a beautiful bird who falls in love with Tamet, the sun, and tries to follow him up to the sky. Accompanied by richly colorful illustrations from Carly Lake, the book touches deftly on themes like the unintended consequences of greed and the importance of working together. A rendition of one of California’s oldest tales, Waa’aka’ is a beautiful children’s book in the classic style.
Author Cindi Alvitre is descendant from the Tongva, the original inhabitants of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and the four Southern Channel Islands, and served as the first woman chair of the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribal Council. Another notable point is that the island on which the story takes place, Pimu, is also known as Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast. Moreover, a migratory bird, Waa'aka' (Black-crowned Night-Heron) are found in marshes and wetlands throughout most the US.
Ages 4 to 8
Hardcover Picture Book; 32 pages