“Waa’aka’ was born when the earth was soft and the waters were new. It was the beginning of time.” So begins Cindi Alvitre’s vivid and multifaceted telling of a traditional Tongva creation story from Southern California. Waa’aka’ follows the title character, a beautiful bird who falls in love with Tamet, the sun, and tries to follow him up to the sky. Accompanied by richly colorful illustrations from Carly Lake, the book touches deftly on themes like the unintended consequences of greed and the importance of working together. A rendition of one of California’s oldest tales, Waa’aka’ is a beautiful children’s book in the classic style.