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Scientific and cultural information explains the history behind our contemporary celebrations.

A Review On: The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

Rated # 20 in Children's Books
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Terry Stafford
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Pros: Clear prose, attractive illustrations, interesting depictions of current and ancient celebrations.

Cons: No mention of some important holidays

I’ve used this book many times, teaching children about winter celebrations.  In clear prose and attractive illustrations this book explains how the tilt of the earth’s axis as it orbits the sun causes the winter solstice. It then describes the ways people have celebrated this “return of the sun” in different cultures and times, from medieval Europe, ancient China and classical Rome. We also learn that many of our own cherished holiday traditions have their roots in ancient solstice celebrations. I appreciate the secular aspect of this book, keeping the topic respectfully open to all belief systems.  


The children I work with are ages six to twelve, and this book captures their interest and invites discussion. A valuable resource.



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