This month we mark the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the shortest day of the year. For many adults it goes unnoticed, just another day where we wake up in darkness and arrive home in darkness. However, this occasion is full of cultural, seasonal and astronomical rites and rituals. From the holidays we celebrate, to the way animals behave, there is an important rhythm to the season and the solstice. In this month’s pick for younger readers we learn more about this unique day of the year. The Shortest Day by Author Wendy Pfeffer and illustrator Jesse Reisch pairs lyrical prose and wintry illustrations, to explain what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Readers will enjoy learning how many contemporary holiday traditions come from ancient solstice celebrations, and the writing style and message of warmth and togetherness are so appropriate for a seasonal read.
Ages 6-9, Grade 1-3
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