Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights

( 3 )

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 ever year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!

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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 ever year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Texas Bluebonnet Award

John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers

"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

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.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-9-This book is based on a purely delightful concept-recording the changes in Arctic light from one summer solstice to the next. In Fairbanks, AK, Miller begins with the 21 hours and 49 minutes of daylight on June 21, then follows the light's diminution month by month to the winter solstice and its daylight of 3 hours and 43 minutes to its gradual swelling back to the summer solstice. Her brief text includes not only lyrical messages about light and its partner, darkness, but also references to the reaction of wildlife to the waxing and waning: the migration of birds and caribou, the hibernation of bears, the changing coat of the Arctic hare. Wrapped about this unfamiliar (to many of us) swirl of seasons of light are Van Zyle's superb and quietly beautiful acrylic paintings, which capture both light and dark in perfect harmony with the text. A map of Alaska, an introductory note, and an excellent glossary are included. Team this bit of loveliness and imagination with Ellen Jackson's delightful quartet Summer Solstice (2001), Autumn Equinox (2000), Winter Solstice (1994), and Spring Solstice (2002, all Millbrook); encourage children to get out a calendar, pen, paper, thermometer, and clock and jubilantly record the radiant pattern of light in their own little corners of the world. A winner.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802796363
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 1/23/2007
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 687,454
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.72 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

DEBBIE S. MILLER has written many acclaimed children's books, including The Great Serum Race which was a NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Recommended book and was a CBC-NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.

www.debbiemilleralaska.com

JON VAN ZYLE is a noted children's book illustrator and the official artist of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. He has twice participated in the run and was recently inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame. Jon lives with his wife, Jona, and their Siberian huskies in Eagle River, Alaska. This is the eighth book Jon and Debbie Miller have collaborated on.

www.jonvanzyle.com

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Recipe

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. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2012

    Vivid descriptions of the Arctic

    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!

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  • Posted December 4, 2011

    Great pictures and story - true to living in the North

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

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