In this story, the young girl Ra-Eli watches as her family agonizes over the illness of her baby brother Samson. When they approach a healer, the answer comes:
"Hold a ceremony to honor your ancestors and ask them to help, a joyful ceremony filled with guests."
"Joyful?" my mother said. "How can we be joyful at a time like this?"
"A joyful ceremony it must be," replied the healer. "Nothing less will bring the ancestors from their lands of the night. Let's seek joy in hope."
And there follows one of those magical sequences that are found in the traditional tales of East Africa, where Tololwa comes from. First, neighbours and friends come to the event — then angels and finally Mola — God. Music and dancing ensue, and when the exhausted Ra-Eli wakes, Mola hands the now recovered baby to his joyful mother.
This story is a true testament to the power of ceremony and music and the honouring of ancestors who come, from the lands of the night
"A new picture book from Tololwa M. Mollel is always cause for celebration. Though illustrators may change, the text will always be powerful and inspired and immersed in his African heritage. From Lands of the Night is no different, depicting the joy of community and tradition, culture and history. Though the story may reflect Tololwa M. Mollel's African (Tanzanian) heritage, the colours and vibrancy of Darrell McCalla's illustrations definitely have a warm Caribbean flavour. As such, From Lands of the Night may be more universal than initially thought, reflecting the similarity of stories told across regions."
-- CanLit for Little Canadians