From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—From the traditions of the Chumash Indians of California, to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel of Wyoming and the Polar Bear Swim of Nome, Alaska, this book introduces the celebrations and traditions surrounding the longest day of the year. It tells about the observance of Midsummer's long hours of sunlight, noted in folktales and mythology from ancient times to the present. Colorful cartoon figures in watercolor-washed spreads celebrate in locations from Europe to North America, and a diagram of the shaded positions of the Earth in relation to the Sun gives readers a view of seasonal changes. The text introduces both tradition and some science. A companion to Pfeffer's The Shortest Day
(2003), We Gather Together
(2006), and A New Beginning
(2008, all Dutton), the book concludes with "solstice facts" and crafts. Thirteen celebrations of the sun are included with basic information—just enough to interest young children.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
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Like The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice (2003), this fourth book in the collaborators' series about the seasons blends science and social studies. The simple free verse discusses historical solar rituals, including those that honored the Egyptians' sun god, Ra, and the ancient Greek sun god, Apollo. Then there are celebrations today, including the Midnight Sun Festival in Nome, Alaska, where the sun shines for more than 22 hours on the longest day of the year. The open, bright spreads will appeal to younger kids, while independent readers can move on to the suggested resources. A final section offers instructions for two projects. Grades 1-3. --Hazel Rochman