The Shortest Day - Carson Ellis & Susan Cooper
Another beautiful standout on display at the Society of Illustrators exhibition, The Original Art.
From the publisher's website: Based on Cooper’s poem by the same name, originally written for a theatrical performance, this cyclical volume offers an alluringly haunting alternative to more familiar seasonal fare—one that is sure to serve as “lights of hope” on a dark season’s stage. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"So the shortest day came," writes Cooper, and Ellis' beautiful gouache paintings depict a world that is pushing against the dark with candles and dance and song. Despite the urgency of the people to push away darkness for light, the tone of the tale is one of hope, anticipation, love, joy and spiritual happiness, culminating with Yule. People depicted morph from early hunter-gatherers to people in northern European medieval garb to a multiracial gathering. They gather in a modern Western home with mantelpiece decorated with menorah and holly, singing carols by the Christmas tree. As precious as sunshine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This lovely celebration of winter solstice blends imagery from the long-ago revelries of northern Europeans with modern-day observations and global traditions...A treat to share aloud, this book makes a unique choice for seasonal sharing, opens discussion about rebirth rituals and holidays that incorporate light, and celebrates hope even in darkest times. —School Library Journal (starred review)