The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Spanish / Mexico

Noche antigua

(Ancient night)

Álvarez, David (illus.)
México:: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2017. – [36] p.
(Series: Los Especiales de A la Orilla del Viento)
ISBN 978-607-16-5314-7

Night  | Moon  | Theft  | Agave  | Rabbit  | Opossum  | Wordless book  | Picture book

Reading age: 7+

White Ravens issue: 2018


This story centres around the moon. It lights up the night sky and, upon closer inspection, turns out to be a spherical ceramic vessel. A rabbit regularly fills it with the milky juice of the agave, which creates its white light. When the rabbit once again heads off to gather more, an opossum makes a hole in the “moon vessel” and steals the highly prized juice. Later the audacious thief makes up for his misdeed by hanging a red, flaming sun-jug in the sky in place of the pale moon. In his wordless book, David Álvarez combines various characters and elements from ancient myths of several central American cultures. So, for instance, the rabbit is associated with the moon, the opossum with the pulque, the fermented juice of the agave, and with fire, which it supposedly stole from the gods. The breath-takingly beautiful, atmospheric pictures radiate an uncanny power and calm and keep drawing the readers back in, even after multiple viewings.