The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (5th Anniversary Edition)

Overview

The winter solstice, the day the "sun stands still," marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year, and it comes either on December 20th or 21st. Celebrations honoring the winter solstice as a moment of transition and renewal date back thousands of years and occur among many peoples on every continent. The Return of the Light makes an ideal companion for everyone who carries on this tradition, no matter what their faith. Storyteller Carolyn McVickar Edwards retells twelve traditional tales—from North ...

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Overview

The winter solstice, the day the "sun stands still," marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year, and it comes either on December 20th or 21st. Celebrations honoring the winter solstice as a moment of transition and renewal date back thousands of years and occur among many peoples on every continent. The Return of the Light makes an ideal companion for everyone who carries on this tradition, no matter what their faith. Storyteller Carolyn McVickar Edwards retells twelve traditional tales—from North America, China, Scandinavia, India, Africa, South America, Europe, and Polynesia—that honor this magical moment. These are stories that will renew our wonder of the miracle of rebirth and the power of transition from darkness into light.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Each of these tales celebrates the return of the sun, and the book's pleasing size and format increases its appeal. In Part 1, stories of the theft of light, from Raven to the Indian continent's golden earring to the Miwok's why the hummingbird has a red throat are told. In Part 2, The Surrender, the story of Loki and the death of light is linked with the Chinese tale of how the cock got his red crown. In Part 3, The Grace, the African tale of the girl who married the sun illuminates the Italian tale of La Befana, the old woman who carries sweets to each child as she searches for the infant savior. The introductions are respectful and strive mightily to see the overarching and very human unities to these tales. Rituals and games for solstice time and a rewriting of familiar carols to be less Christmas-centered and more New Age do not always ring true, but the bibliography includes Web sites as well as numerous old and new sources. Useful in particular for tracing how ancient the celebration of the year's turning is, and how deep in the human soul. (bibliography) (Folktales. 12+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569243602
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/9/2005
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 178
  • Sales rank: 1,417,241
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn McVickar Edwards, a teacher and storyteller in Oakland, California, is the author of The Storyteller’s Goddess and In the Light of the Moon. She is interested in the literacies and languages of earth, myths, books, folk songs and stories, and conversation. More information about her and her work is available at www.carolynmcvickaredwards.com.

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