Ellen Jackson’s book, The Winter Solstice, (published by Millbrook Press) takes a look at the many different cultures throughout history who have celebrated the Winter Solstice and developed cutoms for this shortest day of the year.
With a simple storyline and attractive watercolor illustrations by Jan Davey Ellis, Jackson’s book is a nice addition to a social studies curriculum for children ages 4-8 this time of the year. The Scottish, Romans, Scandinavians, Celts, Northern Europeans, Peruvians, Pueblo Indians, and the Kwakiutl Indians are presented with their customs and beliefs; in addition to a scientific look and simple experiment to illustrate the planetary alignment that creates this seasonal change.
Jackson also explains how the winter solstice is celebrated today in modern American and European cultures, and how solstice customs have found their way into the celebrations of Hanukkah and Christmas.
She ends her book with a Cherokee folktale of creation that tells why evergreens stay green because of their faith that the sun would return.
If you have a seasonal title you would like to recommend, enter it in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you!