The Origin of Day and Night

By (author) Paula Ikuutaq Rumbolt
Illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko
Publisher: Inhabit Media
Hardcover : 9781772271805, 32 pages, October 2018

A critically acclaimed bestselling picture book, now available as a paperback.


In this Inuit tale, the actions of a hare and a fox change the Arctic forever by creating day and night. In very early times, there was no night or day and words spoken by chance could become real. When a hare and a fox meet and express their longing for light and darkness, their words are too powerful to be denied. Passed orally from storyteller to storyteller for hundreds of years, this beautifully illustrated story weaves together elements of an origin story and a traditional animal tale, giving young readers a window into Inuit mythology.


  • Short-listed, 2019 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award 2019
  • Short-listed, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards - Shining Willow Award 2019


"Rumbolt grew up listening to traditional Inuit stories and customs shared by her family and other elders. Her cadenced retelling of this traditional origin story will help young readers learn how to compromise and problem solve. Lishchenko’s deliberate palette of black and white, plus touches of a few other colors, plays strikingly with negative and positive space and adds a subtle dimension to this story of opponents learning how to coexist. Spare and beautiful."— ★ Kirkus, STARRED review

"A simple story told with mighty text and illustrations, The Origin of Day and Night enlightens about beginnings, people and place."—CanLit for Little Canadians

"[A] picture book you absolutely must see to believe – the illustrations are absolutely beautiful, and shouldn’t be missed."—Raincity Librarian

"This book is a must for every classroom, home, library, business school, legislature, and think-tank on conflict. I hope the United Nations purchase multiple copies! We all need this story of sensitive and nuanced ethical compromises that assure the survival and well-being of those who occupy the land—a shared joint place, a shared ecology and destiny. Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine

"This origin story captures the cadence of the storyteller’s voice as readers watch Siri, the Arctic fox, and Ukaliq, the Arctic hare try to find a compromise that each can hunt and find food."—The Globe and Mail