Cover image for The shortest day : celebrating the winter solstice
Title:
The shortest day : celebrating the winter solstice
Author:
Pfeffer, Wendy, 1929-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Summary:
Describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes activities.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.1 0.5 137567.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780525469681
Format :
Book

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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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GT4995.W55 P44 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Many contemporary holiday traditions were borrowed from ancient solstice celebrations. Simple science activities, ideas for celebrating the day in school and at home, and a further-reading list are included.

Illustrated by Jesse Reisch.


Author Notes

Wendy Pfeffer is the author of many science-oriented children's books, including From Tadpole to Frog and A Log's Life , which won the Giverny Award for Best Children's Science Picture Book.


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Using clear, concise language, Pfeffer discusses important ideas behind the shortest day of the year, such as the change from autumn to winter as well as the concept of the Earth's tilting away from the sun. The historical view provides a brief look at the days of prehistoric sun worship as well as chronological interpretations of the phenomenon from 5000 to 1000 years ago. Thus, young listeners are exposed to the ideas of ancient Egyptian, Chinese, Incan, and European astronomers and their efforts to explain this scientific wonder. The modern scene of the solstice celebration, though obviously at Christmas, features family, presents, and stockings on the mantle but has no religious overtones. The remaining pages feature more complete "Solstice Facts," four simple experiments, two party suggestions, and a short but up-to-date list for further reading. While appealing to a younger audience, this treatment combines the cultural approach of Ellen Jackson's The Winter Solstice (Millbrook, 1994) and the activities of Sandra Markle's Exploring Winter (Atheneum, 1984; o.p.). Pfeffer uses an easy, comfortable tone for conveying the basic information, and the end pages will provide additional opportunities for would-be astronomers to explore the principles on their own. Reisch's realistic craypas illustrations provide serviceable interpretations of the author's ideas. Pair this title with John and Nancy Langstaff's The Christmas Revels Songbook (Godine, 1985; o.p.) for an informed celebration of the winter solstice.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.