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Welcome Back, Sun

Welcome Back, Sun

by Michael Emberley, Emberley

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Both an enlightening glimpse of another culture and a lyrical, heartwarming story, this volume also stunningly showcases Emberley's ( The Present ; Ruby ) elegant, emotion-charged art. The tale takes place in Norway during murketiden , the ``murky time'' between September and March when the sun disappears behind the mountains. Emberley's likable young narrator recalls a legend about another girl in another murketiden , who could no longer bear the darkness and trekked through the mountains until she found the long-lost sun and led it back into the valley. The story stokes the narrator's imagination during the oppressive darkness, until she finally persuades her parents that it's time to climb the same mountain, find the sun and ``show it the way home''--a local custom, but Emberley allows his heroine (and the reader) to believe that her adventure has indeed brought the sun. Emberley's pictures deftly convey the story's ambience. In addition to the traditional Norwegian garb of his characters, he renders the twilit gloaming of the murketiden , delicately contrasting shadowy landscapes and interiors with the first light of spring. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Emberly's story takes place in a Norwegian village where the sun has disappeared during the months between September and March. The people call this the murketiden, the murky time. The story reenacts the legend of the young girl who climbs the mountain and calls the sun out and brings it back to the villagers. The art truly complements the story. Soft dark colors show the cold dark winter until the story's conclusion, when the pages fill with brighter oranges to hail the arrival of spring.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The power and simple beauty of sunshine are eloquently evoked in this charming tale about the long-awaited arrival of spring. A young Norwegian girl describes the long, dark winter days, known as the murketiden, and confesses her yearning for the return of the sun. Her mother also finds the long winter oppressive, though her father seems to fare somewhat better. As the darkness drags on, however, even he begins to feel the strain. It is then that the child succeeds in convincing her family to follow the footsteps of a legendary girl and climb the nearby Mount Gausta in search of the sun. As the family trudges upward, they meet friends and neighbors, all of whom gather at the mountain pass to welcome the bright light. Captivating artwork illuminates the text. Using colors and techniques reminiscent of Ed Young's work, as well as more defined and detailed drawings, Emberley captures the feel of both the cold, gray ``murky time'' and the brilliant, clear sunshine. The illustrations reflect the warm affection among family members and place the story firmly in its cultural context. A most welcome seasonal selection.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Julie Corsaro
This is a special story, and it's very different from Emberley's acclaimed Red Riding Hood spoof, "Ruby". Here, the setting is a small Norwegian village; the time is "murketiden", the dark winter months. The young narrator describes how the hunger for sunshine makes her Mama "fret and stare and snap at me." Inspired by the legend about the little girl who found the sun the first time it was lost, the narrator longs to climb Mount Gausta to bring the sun back home. After such hopeful signs as the noontime brightening of the village sky and newspaper reports of the sun's rising in Oslo, her close-knit family sets out on a hike that begins in a deeply shadowed bedroom and ends on a summit wreathed in sparkling yellow and orange sunlight. In contrast to the striking impressionistic grounds that reflect the ever-changing light, the precise, detailed figures of the people are in light, warm colors. With its secure tone and satisfying ending, this evocative and beautifully illustrated story is an ideal choice to share with any child experiencing a difficult, dark time.

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.31(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
9 Years

Meet the Author

Robie H. Harris has written many award-winning books for children of all ages, including the definitive Family Library about sexuality: IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL, IT'S SO AMAZING!, and IT'S NOT THE STORK! She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Michael Emberley is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including the Family Library. He lives in Wicklow, Ireland.

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