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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Light shelf and edge wear to dust cover. Pages are clean and crisp, no marks.
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The Longest Night Hardcover – August 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—This stunningly crafted tale, written in the language of the storyteller, realistically pictures, in both words and paintings, the phenomenon that is the winter solstice. ("The snow lies deep./The night is long and long./The stars are ice, the moon is frost,/and all the world is still.") Although the characters in the almost poetic text are animals—crow, moose, fox—they express the apprehension felt by ancient peoples as they anxiously awaited the sun's return following the longest night of the year. Amid the snow, darkness, and bitter wind, each of the creatures boasts that it will get the sun to return, but the wind replies, "Not you,…Not you." Surprisingly, the wind chooses the tiny chickadee to wake the slumbering sun with her cheery song—"Dee-dee-dee." "And with the song/of one small bird/and the sun's answering smile/the journey toward spring/begins." There is plenty of moonlight in Lewin's watercolor paintings created with just blue, brown, and green. Double-page close-ups of a sleeping, moonlit bear surrounded by tiny snoozing field mice; the soft, knowing eyes of the antlered moose; the vicious snarl of the heavily whiskered fox; and the larger-than-life chickadee all create the feeling that you, the observer, are standing close at hand, a participant in this annual ritual of nature.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH END

About the Author

Marion Dane Bauer is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book "On My Honor" and the "New York Times" bestseller "My Mother Is Mine". Her other titles include "A Mama for Owen", " If You Were Born a Kitten", " Grandmother s Song", and"Thank You for Me!" She has retired from the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults where she was the first Faculty Chair. She lives in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and can be reached at MarionDaneBauer.com.

Ted Lewin's career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, but over the last thirty-five years he has devoted all of his time to writing and illustrating children's books. "Look!", his first I Like to Read(R) book, won the Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational Text." " He lives in New York.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082342054X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823420544
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 0.3 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It was quiet and still in the nighttime forest. Snow lay on the branches of the tree and lay deep on the forest floor. The bears were fast asleep in their dens and the "velvet mice" huddled together in theirs. Only one little mouse seemed to be glancing around in his home under the snow. The "night-dark crow" begins to squawk and croak at the moon. He flaps his wings and can be seen by the light of the full moon. The gigantic moose trudges through the deep snow and the "clever fox" talks to no one in particular in the dark of the night. They all talk about the night and wonder where the sun has gone. The chickadee sits in a tree and talks to them all . . .

"The night is long and long," says a chickadee./
"The sun is gone and gone./
If now crow or moose or fox, then who?/
Who can bring back the sun?"/
"You," says the wind. "Only you."/

This is a very poetic, gentle wintertime tale that walks the reader through the landscape and visits with some of its inhabitants, large and small. The artwork is gorgeous and captures the "dark" of the winter months. Between the artwork and the text I felt as if I were walking alone on snowshoes throw the woods. It captures the essence of the winter wood so exquisitely I could almost feel the crunch of the snow under my feet. This is a perfect book for those in snowy climates and a dream book for those who don't!
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Format: Hardcover
In the deep snow of winter, the night is "long and long." Whose call will bring back the sun? It won't be the crow or the mighty moose. It won't be the fox, with sharp nose and teeth. But, it will be the chickadee, to sing the song of spring to come: "Dee-dee-dee." Stark illustrations pair with spare text to create a beautiful backdrop of nature. Children ages 4-7 will celebrate winter's splendor, singing songs of spring to come: "Dee-dee-dee."
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I loved this book and I highly recommend it be bought for younger children. It is such a beautiful, poetic book and my little cousins were enchanted with it. There is hope at the end of a long, cold, winter's evening. And how fitting that the little Chickadee, was the one chosen to bring hope of a brighter, warmer, better day to all of the creatures in the forest.
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I would give this 3.5 stars. The illustrations are beautiful but really dark and not just in terms of color. There are close ups of a flapping raven and a snarling fox that are just a bit scary looking for younger readers. It does a good job of capturing the desperate feeling that some of humans feel on the darkest day of the year and extends these to the animals in the story. The writing attempts to be poetic and succeeds in some places while sounding a bit awkward in others.
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"The Longest Night" is a quiet melody that pays homage to the littlest of heroes. It's a cold, cold winter, a time when "cold and dark now rule." Those of the forest worry that the sun will not return. A crow, a moose and a fox brag that they can bring back the sun. One by one each call out, and one by one, each fail. Who will bring back the sun?

Marion's poetic text sings, evoking the rhythms found in the sights and sounds of nature's winter. Reflecting the traditional motif in ancient storytelling, the smallest hero is chosen by the wind: "'You," says the wind. "Only you." No one believes this little hero can bring back the sun. Somehow, this reluctant hero must find the courage to sing back the sun.

Ted Lewin uses watercolor masterfully to bring dimension and wonder to the story. Reflecting winter in the forest, he uses only three colors : blue, brown, and a special shade of green. Until, of course, the sun smiles, and then the final three pages light up - literally.

This book is an exceptional read aloud, especially for a cold winter's night!
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If you are looking for a Winter Solstice picture, this one is amazing. Beautiful pictures and a great story about the strength that can be found in gentleness. I spent hours searching on line for a good solstice picture book and then gave up. The next week, I stumbled across this at our local library and I loved it so much I bought it. It has become our annual book for our solstice celebration for 3 years now. Highly recommend!
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