December Book Reviews
"The Longest Night", by Marion Dane Bauer.
This is my favorite winter picture book (it is illustrated by Ted Lewin). The story takes place in a snowy frozen forest on the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of each year. The animals are shivering and longing to bring back the sun but as each takes its turn, the crow, the moose and the fox are unable to do so. “Not you,” sighs the wind. “Not you."
Only the tiny chickadee, singing its gentle heart out in song, is able to peel back the darkness and coax the sun to open its eyes and begin nature’s cycle back toward spring. To evoke the dark, cold nature of a winter forest illuminated only by a full moon, Lewin used just three colors of blue, brown and green to draw his magical watercolor illustrations adding lighter colors only as the sun slowly appears in the final pages.
There is such a natural rhythm and harmony to the words and drawings of this enchanting children’s book that will delight both the listener and the storyteller. The Lee Library has The Longest Night in its jE section.
"Earth: A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race", by John Stewart and Daily Show Staff.
This book is hilarious! It is written for alien readers who happen upon Earth long after the human race has extinguished itself and only a barren planet remains. For anyone who is not familiar with the hugely popular TV program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, this book will quickly introduce you to his trademark, award-winning social and political satire.
It will not matter if you pick it up and read it from beginning to end or just start skimming through it, once you start you will be hooked. Between the text and the accompanying photos and illustrations there is something on each and every page that will have you chuckling and turning the page for more.
Stewart and his comedy team take no prisoners and absolutely nothing is sacred to them. If Mark Twain were alive today, Jon Stewart would more than give him a run for his money. Brilliantly funny, this book is the perfect gift!
Rosemarie Borsody, Public Services Librarian.