Summer Solstice

The month of June brings about the summer solstice. The summer solstice occurs on June 20th, 2024, and is known as the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. For this month’s S-Collection blog we are highlighting books that feature the summer solstice, nature’s rhythms, and the beauty of our earth. This collection of picture books and young adult novels feature anthologies of poems, arts, and crafts for the summer, and instructional picture books on the summer solstice. Summer is a wonderful time to read picture books on the beauty of our surroundings and these books with breathtaking illustrations will make you appreciate summer and the summer season.

Filippucci, Laura
The Universe is a Tree. 2018. Picture Book.
Trees are teachers, healers, protectors, creators. They keep secrets. They bring peace. This rich anthology of stories, proverbs, and poems about trees from around the world reveals that a tree’s roots not only go down deep into the earth, but its branches also reach up and out into the universe, connecting us all, across time and space. May we peer through the forests of our imaginations to see the beauty and experience the awe that still arches over our world.
Q. S.582.16 F478un

Cook, Fiona
The Wheel of the Year: An Illustrated Guide to Nature’s Rhythm. 2023. Young Adult.
You are magic… and so is the world around you, transforming with each new season! The Wheel of the Year is a way to learn about nature’s rhythms – for noticing and celebrating the seasons as they come and go. The spokes of the Wheel mark important turning points: the Winter and Summer Solstices, the Spring and Fall Equinoxes, and the festivals of seeding, growing, and harvesting that arrive in between. Through themed activities, crafts, and rituals, discover old and new ways of honoring the seasons – and create your own!
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Hakala, Marjorie
Mermaid Dance. 2009. Picture Book.
As the sun sets on the ocean, the sky turns pink, then purple, the spring becomes the summer, and a celebration begins. Mermaids arrive, ready to greet the new season by playing, feasting, and dancing in the high tide. Mark Jones’ pastel illustrations capture an enchanting and mysterious world sure to delight the imagination of all readers.
Q. SE. H1278m

Henkes, Kevin
Summer Song. 2020. Picture Book.
Bees buzz, birds sing, and children roll in the grass and feel the heat of the summer sun. With striking verbal imagery, repetition, and alliteration, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts of language and the summer season. Laura Dronzek’s glowing paintings beautifully illustrate the wonders of summer.
Q. SE. H389su

Ignotofsky, Rachel
What’s Inside a Flower?: And other Questions about Science and Nature. 2021. Picture Book.
Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers — from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry. In the launch of a new nonfiction picture book series, Rachel Ignotofsky’s distinctive art style and engaging, informative text clearly answers any questions a child (or adult) could have about flowers.

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Jackson, Ellen B
The Summer Solstice. 2001. Picture Book.
Accompanied by a summer tale designed to be read aloud, recipes, and craft activities, this beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates the universal appeal of the sun and the abundance of light and warmth it provides.
Q. S.394.263 J133s

Klepeis, Alicia
Secrets of the Forest: 15 Bedtime Stories Inspired by Nature. 2023. Picture Book.
Every forest contains a thousand secrets… In this charming anthology of stories by Alicia Klepeis, readers will be guided into forests to meet the amazing animals that live there. In one story a squirrel hunts for an elusive acorn it buried earlier in the year, while another looks at an Alaskan wood frog as it freezes itself alive to survive a harsh winter. Children will be thrilled by the tale of a reindeer that gets separated from its herd in the snowy woods of Scandinavia, and marvel at a chameleon changing color in the forests of Madagascar. Other stories feature elephants, wild cats, pangolins, badgers, foxes, monarch butterflies, otters, walking fish, a tree that can live for thousands of years, and even forest-dwelling penguins! All these creatures and their habitats are brought to life with impressive skill by illustrator Kristen Adam. Each story in Secrets of the Forest is based on the real biology and behavior of these amazing wild animals, and at the end of each tale readers will find out more about the science that inspired the story.
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Pfeffer, Wendy
The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice. 2010. Picture Book.
In this fourth and final book in a series about seasons, Wendy Pfeffer turns her attention to summer, when butterflies emerge from silky cocoons and daylight hours stretch longer and longer. With lyrical prose and vibrant illustrations, The Longest Day takes us on a journey through the history and science behind the summer solstice, with a focus on summer celebrations from various cultures around the world. Teachers and students alike will treasure the varied and accessible knowledge, and activities in the back let everyone in on the festivities.
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Pourquie, Bernadette and Gambini, Cecile
Strange Trees and the Stories Behind Them
. 2016. Picture Book.
Have you ever heard of the Strangler Tree? The Bubblegum Tree? The Upside-Down Tree? How about trees with horns, bottles, sausages, crowns, and ones that walk or even explode? Crazy, maybe, but true. Find out more about these, and many others, in this colorfully illustrated collection of the most bizarre—but real—trees from around the world, once again reminding us that the art of nature is far stranger than fiction. The perfect book for inquisitive naturalists with imaginations, Strange Trees also includes a map of the world showing where the trees grew.
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Singer, Marilyn
Footprints on the Earth: Poems about the Earth. 2002. Picture Book.
This provocative anthology of poems ranges from such lofty subjects as an astronaut’s view of Earth to the burrows of worms and little creatures within the earth, “where I try to tread softly: a quiet giant leaving only footprints on the roof.” Marilyn Singer’s lilting free verse offers visual images that give us fresh new insights and respect for the mighty power of volcanoes, fens, islands, deserts, dunes, and natural disasters. Singer’s easily accessible poems also include some of the lighter moments of childhood, such as sliding on ice and playing in mud. Meilo So’s distinctive India ink drawings on rice paper provide an especially handsome showcase for these buoyant nature poems.
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