Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights

Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights

5.0 3
by Debbie S. Miller, Jon Van Zyle
     
 

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Imagine a land where the sun rises at 1:58 a.m. in the summer and shines for less than four hours on a winter's day. The animals in the wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska, witness some of the world's greatest temperature extremes and light variations every year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light

Overview

Imagine a land where the sun rises at 1:58 a.m. in the summer and shines for less than four hours on a winter's day. The animals in the wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska, witness some of the world's greatest temperature extremes and light variations every year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!

Acclaimed author Debbie S. Miller details the sunsets, twilight, alpenglow, diamond dust, and other quietly beautiful phenomena that color "the Land of the Midnight Sun," describing each animal's activities in both the warm and cold seasons. The dramatic changes in light are captured perfectly in Jon Van Zyle's striking illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Veteran children's author Miller (A Caribou Journey, A Polar Bear Journey, Disappearing Lake, among others) does many school visits in the Lower 48, and is always peppered with questions about what it's like to live in a place that's pitch-dark for half the year. The Fairbanks resident decided to dispel that mistaken impression once and for all by writing a book about alpenglow, "diamond dust," the aurora borealis, "sundogs" and other aspects of Arctic light. "It is never completely dark all day long," she writes, even in places like Barrow, and the light that does exist is "dynamic and beautiful." The author takes readers month-by-month through a typical year, to help them learn to appreciate each season. Illustrator Van Zyle's acrylic paintings are compelling images of moose, snowshoe hares, grizzlies, wolves, wilderness and, of course, snow. The artist, an acclaimed Alaska painter who's collaborated with Miller before, has a particularly nice touch with the blue, blue-gray and lavender hues of Alaska snow. (No, it ISN'T just white!) The writer and artist show a heartfelt reverence for their subject, and their combination of carefully chosen words and images will inspire the same kind of wonder in young readers. 2003, Walker & Company, Ages 4 up.
— Donna Freedman
School Library Journal
PreS A companion volume to Rockwell's previous fine basic transportation books. In her familiar and popular style of bright watercolors and crisp lines, Rockwell's cheerful illustrations for this book are ``peopled'' with pigs; Boats (1982) has bears; Trucks (1984) is filled with cats; Cars (1984) is set in a canine country; and Planes (1985, all Dutton) uses rabbits. Bulldozers, dump trucks, cranes and such are described in a very simple text, and the appeal to young children is heightened by the stylistic use of the first-person plural. This book, like the others, is an excellent example of how to present information to young patrons: it is accurate, appealing, colorful, brief and interesting. A sure success for the preschool group.Connie Tyrell Burns, Morrisson-Reeves Library, Richmond, Ind.
Kirkus Reviews
The rhythms of the arctic year play out on the pages of this quietly lovely picture book. Successive double-paged spreads describe, month by month, the radical changes in daylight and temperature as the year progresses from one summer solstice to the next. Each spread features one type of animal going through its seasonal activities; six months later, that same animal appears again, adapting to the changes. Miller's quiet, present-tense text simply describes the conditions, spending special attention on the effects of the shortening or lengthening of the day; a bar extends across the top of every page to indicate relative length of day and night, times of sunrise and sunset, and average high and low temperatures (in Fahrenheit). Van Zyle's acrylics are equally simple, employing a variety of perspectives and effects to show off the unique beauties of the arctic without sentiment. A lovely treatment of a difficult concept and of a very special place. (glossary) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)
From the Publisher

“Van Zyle's superb and quietly beautiful acrylic paintings…capture both light and dark in perfect harmony with the text. A winner.” —School Library Journal

“A lovely treatment of a difficult concept and of a very special place.” —Kirkus Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802788566
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
743,504
Product dimensions:
9.69(w) x 9.86(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Debbie S. Miller is the author of Walker & Company's The Great Serum Race, Are Trees Alive? and Disappearing Lake, which was named one of Bank Street College's Children's Books of the Year, was given the IRA-CBC Teachers' Choice Award, and earned starred reviews in School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews. Debbie lives with her family in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Jon Van Zyle has illustrated numerous award-winning children's books, including Walker & Company's The Great Serum Race and Disappearing Lake. He lives in Eagle River, Alaska, with his wife, Jona, and their Siberian husky dog team.

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Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
PZCA More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written. The text is rich in description and the pictures match. I use this book in my 4-6 grade classroom, and the students respond well. I recommend this book very highly... I'm so glad that I came across it!
august27 More than 1 year ago
This was a richly illustrated and written book, worthy reading to understand the differences of living in the Northern latitudes compared to the contiguous 48 states.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago