Lord of the Sky (Hardcover)

By Linda Zeman-Spaleny, Ludmila Zeman (Illustrator)

Tundra Books, 9780887768965, 32pp.

Publication Date: April 14, 2009



A breathtakingly illustrated tribute to the art and mythology of West Coast native culture.

In this exquisitely illustrated picture book, based on the animated short film of the same name, Linda Zeman-Spaleny transports young readers to a bygone time when nothing lived in the universe, when “out of the darkness came the Great Raven, who brought the Sun to the children of the North Pacific Coast.”

Legend tells of a boy, living by the sea, who befriends the ravens, sharing his food with them. But some of the ravens are greedy, and the village boys decide to teach them a lesson by sending a swift and fatal arrow. When darkness descends upon the land, the wise elder tells the villagers that only the Lord of the Sky can restore the Sun, so the boy begins an arduous journey in search of him. . . .

In this riveting folktale, Linda Zeman-Spaleny pays tribute to her emigration from Eastern Europe and her arrival in British Columbia, where she saw beautiful totem poles for the first time. Award-winning artist Ludmila Zeman’s lush, vibrant artwork complements this timeless tale with modern themes and the message that we need to care for our world in order to preserve it.

About the Author

Linda Zeman-Spaleny was born in the Czech Republic and came to Canada at the age of twelve with her sister and parents. She has degrees in both psychology and law, and she went on to work as an assistant in a social psychology lab, researching early childhood development. After completing law school, Linda was admitted to the Bar of Ontario and became an associate lawyer at a Toronto firm. But Linda was born into a family of film workers, and throughout her pursuits, creativity and artistic expression remained her true passion. She's worked as a freelance photographer and a photo editor, and she has assisted in the writing of her mother's books. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada. She co-wrote with her mother, a feature film, "Gilgamesh the King." Later, she directed a short documentary about the pre-production of the film. Linda lives in Toronto with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Helena.

Accomplished filmmaker, author, and illustrator Ludmila Zeman was born in the Czech Republic. She is the daughter of well-known Czech film director Karel Zeman. Ludmila worked on major motion pictures early in her career, and she went on to create her own short animated films including the award-winning "Lord of the Sky" for the National Film Board of Canada. Besides films, Ludmila's storytelling talent and unique design has been expressed in countless children's picture books. She's received numerous awards as the author and illustrator of the Gilgamesh and Sindbad trilogies and The First Red Maple Leaf, all published by Tundra Books. In 1995, Ludmila received a Governor General's Award for Illustration for her book, The Last Quest of Gilgamesh. Ludmila now lives in Montreal, Quebec. For more information about Ludmila Zeman, please visit her website at www.ludmilazeman.com.

Praise For Lord of the Sky

Praise for Sindbad in the Land of the Giants:
“Engagingly written, the story is fleshed out by Zeman’s illustrations. Richly detailed, with intricate borders, the pictures are strongly reminiscent of Near Eastern miniatures, thus evoking the culture from which the story springs . . .” — School Library Journal

“. . . this rip-roaring adventure is lavishly illustrated in the style of a Persian carpet, with intricate borders, deep, rich colours and scenes of cartoon-like animation.” — Toronto Star

Praise for Sindbad’s Secret:
“Richly layered and textured, this glowing work transports the reader into the world of the centuries-old tales. With lush patterns, Ludmila Zeman retells Sindbad’s epic voyage in an animated contemporary fashion.” — From the jury for the Governor General’s Literary Awards