A very happy Winter Solstice to you all. As I sit at my desk looking out of the window I can see feathery wisps of a pink dawn trying to peak through thick layer of cloud that fills the sky. As the sun rises higher, splashes of gold take the place of the little delicate wisps. The splashes grow and glow brighter and brighter until it looks as if the sky has been gilded. What a way to start this auspicious day.
This evening some dear friends will be coming over to celebrate the Solstice with us. A fire will be blazing in the fireplace, candles will be flickering on the tables and shelves, the dachshunds and cats will be waiting at the door, and the smells of delicious food will fill the house.
Today I bring you a review of a book where you will find another house that is filled with candlelight, warmth, and good smells.
Almost a full Moon
Illustrated by Jensine Eckwall
For ages 5 and up
Tundra Books, 2016, 978-1-77049-871-6
The moon is almost full, and outside a little house in the snowy woods a boy collects wood. Back at the house his grandmother stirs a huge round-bellied pot that is full of hot, savory soup. Her grandson adds some herbs to the steaming pot that contains “Pumpkin and parsnip, carrot and turkey bones. Bay leaf and pepper, potato and garlic cloves.” The gifts of the harvest create a meal that will be perfect to eat on this cold winter night.
Soon friends arrive at the little house, drawn there by an invitation to have some soup in the candlelit room. They come bearing gifts, smiles, and rosy cheeks. In addition to the expected guests, there are a few unexpected ones. A girl with flaming hair traveling on the back of a giant wolf arrives with her animal friends. There is always room for more and they join the party, for the boy and his grandmother have made enough soup to “feed everyone we know” and “everyone we don’t.”
Based on the lyrics from Hawksley Workman’s song Almost a Full Moon, this picture book gives readers a glimpse of a cold, moonlit winter’s night. The white of the snow, leafless trees, and blue shadows are juxtaposed by the golden welcoming warmth of the little house, where friends, both old and new, gather to sip soup, share news, and dance.
In this book unassuming and evocative illustrations provide a perfect backdrop for the text, giving readers of all ages a thoughtful and memorable story experience.