Written by Teresa Cardenas
Illustrated by Margarita Sada
Publication Date July 01, 2008
Oloyou the Cat is the very first creature that God-child creates at the beginning of the ages, and he becomes the first friend. God-child and Oloyou play together for hours on end. But one day the cat falls into the kingdom of ferocious Okun Aro, the Sea. Oloyou is terribly lonely until he sees Okun Aro's glorious mermaid-daughter, Kandili, swimming by. He falls madly in love with her. Her father's rage at this turn of events throws the lovers back up into the heavens, where Kandili becomes the Night in the Sky, spangled with stars, and Oloyou a comet that leaps and plays through that night.
Teresa Cardenas, a well-known Cuban santera, brings her own style to this imaginative retelling of a Yoruba myth.
Selected for the Criticas Magazine Children's Best Books of 2008 2008
Teresa Cardenas is Cuba's best-known author for young people and is a world-famous storyteller and dancer. She has won the Casa de las Americas prize for her novel Perro Viejo / Old Dog and Cuba's National Prize in Literary Criticism for Cartas al cielo (published as Letters to My Mother / Cartas a mi mama in North America). She lives in Havana with her two children.
Margarita Sada is a well-known Mexican artist who has illustrated other stories that derive from Yoruba mythology, such as the award-winning Venir del Mar by Jose Alberto Caban. Many of her books have been selected for Mexico's SEP Libros del Rincon program, which provides books to school children throughout the country. She lives in Mexico City.
"Luminously illustrated." Toronto Star
"Margarita Sada's lovely oils for this book do nothing to lower the quotient of 'fanciful,' and everything to make it visually attractive." Globe and Mail
"...uses spare prose, presented in both Spanish and smoothly translated English, to mesh with Sada's childlike art...makes a good choice for introducing mythology to young readers..." Booklist
"[A] striking bilingual retelling of a Yoruba myth...The clarity of the writing makes this book suitable for reading aloud, while the complexity of the story will hold the interest of older readers. The oil-on-canvas illustrations are rich and bold...This is an outstanding addition for both Spanish-language and folktale collections." School Library Journal