The Blizzard’s Robe
Author/Illustrator: Robert Sabuda
Publisher: Athenium Books for Young Readers, 1999
Source: Public Library
There are many myths and legends about the Northern Lights. In Robert Saduba’s picture book version, a clan that lived near the Arctic Sea feared the long, cold months of winter. They lived in near darkness and with the darkness came the thing that they feared the most: Blizzard. Blizzard had the power to destroy their village with its strong winds and snow.
Among these people lived a young girl named Teune who would sit by the hearth and sew deerskin robes to keep the people warm. Her robes were not only practical; they were beautiful. One night as Blizzard came swirling into their village, he passed over Teune’s home. There was no more wood to keep Blizzard out and in desperation she threw the deerskins onto the dying fire. As a result, Blizzard’s own robe caught fire and was destroyed.
Although the clan was happy that they would have one less thing to fear from the night, Teune was sad. During a dream, Blizzard went to Teune and told her if she would help him, he would honor her people with a great gift. Secretly Teune began a fantastic garment for Blizzard and in return, as promised, he rewarded the clan with colored waves of light.
Like many people, when I first think of the colors of winter, cool blues and grays come to mind. Sabuda’s book is filled with jubilant color! From the fiery reds and oranges of a winter sunset to the cheerful and comforting yellows of firelight and the pulsing white of the winter stars, color bursts from the pages in a glorious celebration. Although the story itself is wonderful, this is certainly one to add to your collection based on the art alone.