A New Beginning

Overview

The spring equinox signals the time of year when the days are getting longer, the growing season has begun, and animals give birth to their young. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this book explains the science behind spring and shows how the annual 'rebirth' of Earth has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the ages and the world. Teachers will appreciate the simple science, the multicultural history, and the hands-on activities in this book. Parents and librarians will enjoy ...

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Overview

The spring equinox signals the time of year when the days are getting longer, the growing season has begun, and animals give birth to their young. With accessible, lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, this book explains the science behind spring and shows how the annual 'rebirth' of Earth has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the ages and the world. Teachers will appreciate the simple science, the multicultural history, and the hands-on activities in this book. Parents and librarians will enjoy sharing it with children at Easter and Passover time.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 2-5- Pfeffer combines basic science with cultural traditions and celebrations to describe this seasonal event. A simple explanation and equally clear graphics serve to contrast the light of summer solstice with the darkness of winter solstice and also to demonstrate the fact that both the vernal and autumnal equinoxes occur when day and night are of equal length. Bleck's cheerful cartoon illustrations are well matched to the text and sport suitably bright hues. Springtime festivities within Chinese, Persian, Indian, and Mayan cultures are explored, with reference to ancient mythology and architectural structures. The significance of special holiday foods is also discussed, including pancakes for the Russian celebration of Maslenitsa , fresh berries for the Cree Native Americans, the symbolic seder plate for Jews at Passover, and eggs for Easter. The back of the book offers a craft activity or recipe for each holiday mentioned. Useful for seasonal units, the book offers a list of print resources and Web sites but could be considered an additional purchase for libraries that have Ellen Jackson's The Spring Equinox (Millbrook, 2002).-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing her tributes to the seasons, Pfeffer explores spring in her latest science/history title. Beginning with the signs and activities that herald spring's arrival, there is a short explanation of the spring equinox. Following this are succinct and interesting explanations of how various peoples throughout the world commemorate this day and the historical origins of their celebrations. The holidays include the Chinese New Year, No Ruz in Iran, Holi in India, Maslenitsa in Russia, the Jewish Passover, the Christian Easter as well as explanations of what the Maya in Mexico and the Cree in America did to mark the spring equinox. Several pages of spring crafts and recipes follow the text, along with a list of print and online resources. Bleck's bright colors sing of spring, and she masterfully brings other cultures to life, capturing the essential parts of each celebration. Unfortunately, in the one illustration depicting the earth in its path around the sun, the seasons are labeled incorrectly: The North Pole is pointing away from the sun during the "summer solstice." Still, with a corrected picture replacing this one page, this could be a valuable seasonal resource, as are the two previous (and correct) titles about winter and fall. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525478744
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/24/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Pfeffer is the author of many science-oriented children’s books, including the two companions to this book. She lives in Pennington, New Jersey.

Linda Bleck lives in Mequon, Wisconsin.

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