By DiDi LeMay, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 20, 2010
New Children’s Story Shows Environmental Impact Through Animal’s Eyes
A Winter Solstice Celebration takes young readers deep into the forest, where they discover how seemingly harmless human activities can wreak havoc on the natural world.
Set in a village on the edge of a forest, the time and place are left to the reader’s imagination. Miya, a young village girl, sets out one wintry day to feed the forest animals. This sensitive child has always been concerned about her wild neighbors. Every winter she makes it a habit to ensure they have food. On this particular day, Miya is in for a big surprise.
Deep in the woods, Miya encounters a talking squirrel who demands she leave the forest. As soon as she gets over the shock of talking to a squirrel, Miya ponders why she is so unwelcome in this place she loves. Trying to find her way home, she becomes lost and stumbles upon an animal meeting led by a haughty owl. Here, she discovers why humans are so disliked and mistrusted among the creatures of the forest. Encouraged by a kindly crow, she becomes determined to change the way humans and animals get along.
As the story unfolds, Miya must find a way to make peace between the village community and the forest dwellers.
The upcoming solstice is the perfect opportunity to take a stand. A Winter Solstice Celebration follows Miya’s adventures as she returns to the forest with a bold idea to start a new winter solstice tradition among the villagers—one that doesn’t involve so much destruction to the forest.
“A Winter Solstice Celebration has a universal appeal as it gives insight into the potentially devastating impact of humans on the environment through the eyes of the animals. Young readers will be so captivated by Miya’s adventures; they will not realize they are learning multiple lessons: respect for the environment and for each other, the importance of standing up for your beliefs and the need to conquer your fears.”
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