It’s Friday! Time for another review for Perfect Picture Books! I was planning another classic, but I picked this one up at the library the other day and knew it had to be added to our list:
Title: Lucia and the Light Suitable For: Ages 5 and up Author/Illustrator: Written by Phyllis Root Illustrated by Mary Grandpré Publisher: Candlewick Press (October 10, 2006) Themes/Topics: Animals, Geographic Theme, Perseverance, Fantasy/Folklore/Fairy Tales, Adventure
Opening and Brief Synopsis:
Lucia and her mother and baby brother lived with a velvet-brown cow and a milk-white cat in a little house at the foot of a mountain in the Far North. The cow gave milk, the cat slept by the fire, and the baby cooed and grew fat by the hearth. They were happy together, even when the winter piled snow outside their door.
So begins this beautiful, fantastical tale about a little girl’s marvelous adventure to find the sun that has disappeared from her world. Her drive and determination to save the life of her baby brother help fuel her to keep going when her body was wanting her to stop. Her quick thinking and cleverness aid her when the battle seems too great after trolls capture her.
Links to resources – I thought for this story it would be fun for children to learn more about the Norse, considering it is influenced by Norse folklore. I found an excellent site on the BBC that gives a history of the Vikings. I also found this site that links to a number of Viking related material, including the BBC site I previously mentioned. The name Lucia is very well known in Scandinavia. On Dec. 13, according to the old Julian calendar, St. Lucia’s (St. Lucy’s) Day is celebrated. Cross-country skiing would also be a great activity to do after reading the book (and then a warm cup of hot chocolate afterwards!).
Why I liked this book: As I said in the beginning of this post, once I read Lucia and the Light I knew it had to be on our list. It is just magical. Phyllis Root’s storytelling is fantastical. It is a wonderful tale of courage and perseverance. Mary Grandpré’s gorgeous soft pastels create a wonderful world that you feel a part of. Grandpré’s art may be familiar, as she is the artist who created the Harry Potter book covers. In this modern world, well crafted fantasy stories for children are a rare treat. Root & Grandpré did a wonderful job of bringing this story to life.
The complete list of Perfect Picture Books and their resources can be found at author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.