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The Shortest Day    by Susan Cooper & Carson Ellis order for
Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2019 (2019)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Newbery Medal Winner Susan Cooper's The Shortest Day, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Carson Ellis, is 'A celebration of the winter solstice and the Yuletide season.' It's aimed at young readers aged five and up.

Illustrations introduce folk gathering firewood before 'the shortest day came, / and the year died / And Everywhere down the centuries / of the snow-white world / Came people singing, dancing, / To drive the dark away.'

They lit candles outside and decorated inside and out, burning fires 'To keep the year alive'. Cooper's mystical poem reminds us of our cyclical lives and how long humans have been celebrating the shortest day 'As promise wakens in the sleeping land.'

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