The Shortest Day

The Shortest Day

In this seasonal treasure, Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper's beloved poem heralds the winter solstice, illuminated by Caldecott Honoree Carson Ellis's strikingly resonant illustrations.

So the shortest day came,
and the year died . . .

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before -- and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illustrated by Carson Ellis with a universality that spans the centuries, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

Title:The Shortest Day
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780763686987
Format Type:

    The Shortest Day Reviews

  • Hilary

    Susan Cooper's poem about the shortest day is accompanied by beautiful illustrations. If you like snowy scenes, nature and outdoors this is a joy to look through, beautiful colours and images. I enjoy...

  • Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.comThe Shortest Day is a children’s book all about the Winter Solstice and is based on a poem by author Susan Cooper which is recited every year on Revels Stag...

  • Abigail

    Since the 1970s, the Christmas Revels - a series of annual holiday stage performances that draw upon English theater traditions from the 16th century and before - has opened with the recitation of thi...

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    There are some spreads that are really appealing (mostly those without people), but I don't like the book as a whole. The poem, which since 1974 has been a part of the annual Christmas Revels, seems t...

  • Melissa Mcavoy

    Aaargh, This book is so close to being great and after one read I had decided it was - five stars and a top place on our school's Book Fest Top Picks 2019. And then I read it again...and while still v...

  • GraceAnne

    I heard about the Revels some years before they came to New York City, and to see and hear them live filled a place in me I did not know was empty. Part of this winter solstice celebration was a poem ...

  • Nick Swarbrick

    “All the long echoes sing the same delight/this shortest day.” At one level a simple Solstice (rather than Christmas) poem, beautifully illustrated by Carson Ellis to show the continuity of Solsti...

  • Douglas Larson

    A colorful children's book about the winter solstice written by one of the great children's authors of our time. The text of this book is from a poem, also written by Cooper in 1974. ...

  • Katy

    Lovely picture book....

  • Jennifer

    Beautifully illustrated retelling of Susan Cooper's Yule poem. Yes, it's short. But it's so lovely to read a poem celebrating this time of year that underscores the long tradition of human beings to m...