If you are looking for a children’s picture book about the Winter Solstice that doesn’t mention Christmas, Wendy Pfeffer’s The Shortest Day will meet your requirements. Of the few childen’s books available about the Solstice, almost all mention the Christian holiday. This fact alone makes the book worth purchasing for families who celebrate the Solstice.
Jesse Reisch’s colorful illustrations are true to form for a picture book, engaging the youngest readers. Suggested activities, although nothing spectacular, and solstice facts at the back of the book garner extra points from me.
The book is based on factual information, which normally would have me overjoyed. However, the facts are a bit questionable. Most notably, the dates for how long various solstice traditions have occurred around the world are off. Perhaps it’s a smal detail, but one I find greatly annoying. Despite that, it’s a good starting point for families with young children who celebrate earth based holidays and one I would purchase again based on the great lack of books available for families such as ours.
We have a copy of that waiting for Tuesday. I particularly like the way that it integrates history, geography, and physics… although less physics. That’s OK. We have too many physicists in our house.
Hey! Maybe *we* should write a book!
Do you have more information on the parts of the book that you take issue with? I’d like to be able to elaborate if possible. (Our oldest is 11, and has a memory like a steel trap, so I prefer not to give him incorrect information, since he will repeat it verbatim to all and sundry.)
We just checked this out from the library and read it last night! It was a little much for Everett (I didn’t really know much about the book because we just put it on hold on line then picked it up) but we read straight through it anyway, and it certainly got some synapses firing in his little brain. He asked all kinds of questions. It wasn’t incredibly enjoyable to read, but a great starting point for teaching about the holiday.
Will remember for next year! Thanks for the reviews!