The science, history, and cultural significance of the shortest day of the year: The Winter Solstice!
The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Many contemporary holiday traditions were borrowed from ancient solstice celebrations.
"Using clear, concise language, Pfeffer discusses important ideas behind the shortest day of the year, such as the change from autumn to winter as well as the concept of the Earth's tilting away from the sun…. While appealing to a younger audience, this treatment combines the cultural approach of Ellen Jackson's The Winter Solstice (Millbrook, 1994) and the activities of Sandra Markle's Exploring Winter (Atheneum, 1984; o.p.). Pfeffer uses an easy, comfortable tone for conveying the basic information, and the end pages will provide additional opportunities for would-be astronomers to explore the principles on their own."
—School Library Journal
Simple science activities, ideas for celebrating the day in school and at home, and a further-reading list are included.