Sunpainters is a story about the power and beauty of nature.
Kii Leonard is called inside the hogan by his grandfather who explains
that the reason the sky is so dark is because of a solar eclipse. He
explains to Kii that during this time, people pray and show respect
to Mother Earth by not eating, drinking, or sleeping. The Na'ach'aahii,
or Painters, will come from the Four Sacred Mountains to once again
give color to the earth. Kii learns the virtue of patience and admiration
for the blessings of nature. He also learns that by listening to his
elders he can gain knowledge about his own culture and the traditions
of the Navajo people.
The illustrations in this story are done in watercolors and pen and
ink on Bristol board. They are vivid and alive with color and energy.
Their bright reds, yellows, and oranges illustrate the dynamism of color.
These colors contrast with the deep blues and purples that represent
the world during the solar eclipse. The illustrations embody the emotions
of the characters as well as the Southwest setting.
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