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Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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The Winter Solstice Paperback – December 1, 1997

26 customer reviews

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The Winter Solstice + The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice + The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-4-This picture book does a solid job of explaining various early peoples' attitudes about the winter solstice and related rituals and traditions. Included are the Celtics, Romans, and Native Americans (among others). The information is well presented and flows evenly. The strongest part of the text is the discussion of which aspects of these ancient traditions are celebrated today and why. The book ends with a Cherokee folktale on the creation of the seasons. The attractive, double-page, full-color illustrations enhance the text. A good choice for libraries needing material on the subject.
Kay McPherson, Central Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, GA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. In picture-book format, this introduces the winter solstice customs and beliefs of the ancient Britons, Scandinavians, Romans, and Peruvians, as well as certain Native American sun ceremonies. Jackson also explains how to demonstrate the earth's tilt using an orange and a flashlight; she connects ancient solstice practices to modern customs associated with Christmas and Hanukkah, and she ends the book with an adaptation of a Cherokee creation tale. Teachers will value the book's multicultural approach as well as its simple, readable text and attractive watercolor illustrations. While the introduction to the science of solstice could be fuller and the accompanying illustrations much more precise, the book definitely fills a niche. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: 21st Century; Reprint edition (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761302972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761302971
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WHO: Ellen B. Jackson

WHAT: An award-winning author of 55+ fiction and nonfiction books for children.

WHEN: Born in the days of woolly mammoths, I eventually grew up to be a teacher, counselor, book-lover and writer.

WHERE: I live in Santa Barbara near a very nice beach, ideal for beach-combing and canine stick throwing.

WORKS: Recent books include THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE, about supernovae and dark energy (a Golden Kite honor book), and EARTH MOTHER, a timeless tale about the circle of life (three starred reviews).

VISIT: www.ellenjackson.net

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Bedawyn on December 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I wish Amy's review had been posted before I purchased this; pagans should definitely take the time to read it carefully before buying this book as a gift. If sentences like "many people...thought that ghosts and witches and trolls wandered the Earth" and "just as we now do at Christmas" _don't_ set your teeth on edge, then hey, go for it. There is no discussion of modern multicultural solstice traditions outside of Christmas and Hanukkah and an emphasis on the 'dark and scary' aspects of old solstice beliefs that might be inappropriate for a child's introduction to the solstice. There's also an implicit attitude -- mild but noticeable, though unstated -- that we moderns are superior to those poor superstitious folk of the past. And the scientific explanation, while accurate, is misleadingly phrased. Still, the artwork and general design are excellent, the text is clear and simple without being dry, and the Cherokee tale at the end, explaining why some trees are evergreen, is very nice. I wouldn't recommend it as a first-and-only solstice book or for anyone who's unlikely to have more balanced sources of information readily available. But it could be worthwhile as one of a group of books or as a starting point for discussion.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By C. Sanchez on December 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book thinking it would be a nice story for my son, who along with the rest of our extended family, celebrates the Winter Solstice. The book seemed to mock the traditions of this season. Especially of concern was how the book continues to refer to "Christmas" as a holiday "We" all celebrate.

I dont recommend this book for any family that observes the tradition of Solstice, as it isn't a respectful view of our tradition.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Amy on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
I had seen this book many times on-line yet hesitated to purchase it. After checking it out at the local library, I now understand my hesitation. I am a practicing Wiccan and thought this may be a good way to explain our family Yule celebrations to my son's kindergarten class. I was wrong. This book is inaccurate, disjointed and incomplete . It has a distinct "monotheistic writer attempting to appear enlightned" air about it. I am grateful that I didn't waste my money on it, although the waste of my time is inexcusable. Definately not a Pagan/Wiccan nature-based religion friendly read.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Witchy Mama of 2 on December 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Though the book is written from a Judeo-Christian perspective, it is an excellent book for educating children about the many ways the winter solstice is celebrated throughout the world. Some Pagans have criticized the book for not representing modern Paganism; however, I feel it is unreasonable of Pagans to presume that Judeo-Christians even know of our faith, let alone to expect them to write about it as if it were the truth. I take it for what it is, a very well-written children's book that is exploring the multicultural aspect of the winter solstice festival. When I read it to my son and it said something like "ancient people once believed in ghosts, witches, and trolls . . . " I paused to explain to him that there are real ghosts (spirits) and real witches (people who perform witchcraft) and that I'd never seen a troll, but I wouldn't say they don't exist either! I'm teaching my child to be a critical reader. I personally feel that some of those who reviewed the book negatively don't know how to read critically! I hope any of you with children will consider picking up this book for them! It has very beautiful illustrations and a lovely Native American story at the end about why the evergreens stay green through winter! Definitely worth the purchase price!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book, while useful to pagans and those with a new age perspective, is basically aimed at teachers and parents who want well-researched, accessible information about the origins of the winter solstice. THE WINTER SOLSTICE is balanced and appealing to kids. It was a Children's Choice selection in 1995 (International Reading Association). This means that a group of children selected this book as one their favorites. Year after year, THE WINTER SOLSTICE continues to broad appeal. I have used it in the classroom since 1995 and it is one of my favorite resources.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 21, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Finally! A book which touches upon our winter holiday! Perfect for reading to your younger child (or as a starting place for religious discussions with slightly older children). The celebration of the winter solstice is covered from a variety of cultural viewpoints, with lovely illustrations and accurate information (the scientific explanation is also given). A beautiful story about the Solstice is provided at the end of the book, which can be used as a separate tale for family gatherings.

The only caveat is that, although the author mentions that some people still mark the Solstice, that is the extent of the detail given to modern Earth-centered faiths.

All in all, a book which will enrich your child's religious education.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Terrie on October 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
This lovely picture book is a great over-view of Winter Solstice history, tradition, science and celebration. The illustrations are satisfyingly detailed and brightly colored, many of them double page spreads. The book covers an ancient Scottish family's Winter Solstice experience, shows us an ancient viewpoint featuring Stonehenge, explores anicent Roman, Scandinavian, Celtic, Peruvian, and Native American celebrations. It shares some of the features of modern day Winter Solstice celebrations. It ties in the celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah and traces where some of those holiday traditions originated. It includes a brief and easily understood scientific explanation for the Winter Solstice. The book is nicely rounded off with a solstice story from a Cherokee tale of creation. The illustrations feature yew and mistletoe, blazing bonfires, antlered ancients encouraging the return of the Sun, changing seasons, and children celebrating. It is a lively and entertaining book that will enrich anyone's understanding of this special night of the year and will be especially useful to Wiccan and other pagan parents.
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