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Children's LiteratureIn a well-thought-out collection of ideas surrounding December 21 and the Winter Solstice, the author leads readers through what happens to the sun and why. Text then moves back in history to celebrations, measurements to assure onlookers that this happened predictably and that the sun would return just as predictably. She also mentions historical celebrants, such as the Druids and Incas, along with modern solstice celebrations, such as St. Lucia's Day in Sweden, and the holiday when people exchange gifts and hang stockings (but not named here). Back pages include an interesting and useful variety of ideas, from more facts about the solstice with explanatory diagrams, four projects that teachers, parents, and adults who work with children would find fresh, and two "cooking" activities, one for a human party and one for an avian one. Further reading and two websites are also included. It would take someone a while to work through the content in this easy-to-read book just because there is so much information and the some of the activities are done over time-right for studying the sun and the earth's motion over time. Reisch's richly colored pencil and pastel artwork present a cozy view of interiors and a warmth to the frozen outdoor scenes that give the content a kindly look. 2003, Dutton, Ages 6 to 10.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.