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The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper illustrated by Carson Ellis Review Copy from Candlewick Press Susan Cooper, author of the Dark is Rising Sequence for which she won a Newbery Medal, wrote The Shortest Day as a poem "for the theater, for a joyful celebration of the winter solstice, in music, dance and words, that's known as the Christmas Revels." Caldecott Honor winner Carson Ellis marvelously brings Cooper's words to life, connecting the long distant past to today. Four illustrations precede Cooper's words, and show a personified sun, a giant walking a bit bent over, walking stick in hand, across the land where early humans hunt and gather with the rhythm of the day and the seasons. Cooper begins her poem with, "So the shortest day came, and the year died." Yet, in the dark, there is "singing, dancing, / To drive the dark away." Candles are lit, in windows and in the "winter trees," and homes are hung with evergreen. Fires burn through …

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