Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Books I've read this week - Aurora of the Northern Lights

Aurora of the Northern Lights © 2009 by Holly Hardin.
Illustrated by Donald Vanderbleek. Recommended ages, 3 – 8.

About the book: “Named for the Northern Lights, Aurora faces a woeful plight. To many lands she must roam, searching for her true home.

Come along as author Holly Hardin conjures a mystical world of adventure, sprites, and magical charms. After losing her parents, little Aurora sets off on her own. Because she’s different, Aurora finds it difficult to find anyone who will listen to her story, even at Christmas time. As her story continues, Aurora receives special gifts to keep her safe and important clues to find her new home.

Follow the journey as Aurora encounters a host of creatures along the way – including one very famous bearded man. What follows in this beautifully illustrated and delightfully written book is a heartwarming story of a home lost and found – and a Christmas lesson for us all.”

This is a large, 8.5” x 11”, children’s paperback with about 30 pages. The story is written in rhyme and the illustrations are colorful and depict the story well. A young man, William, is exploring up North, meets a lady named Mistletoe, falls in love, and they get married. She lives where it’s very cold but he can’t stand it there so they move back to his farm where it’s warm. Aurora is born from this marriage. When she’s 7, her parents both get sick and die, and she’s left alone. She goes to town for help and is turned away because she’s different. They send her to the forest where she’s again told she doesn’t belong. Eventually, she makes her way north and finds her grandmother and a new home with Santa’s elves. The book does have a few words that a child would probably have to look up or have explained like fey, solstice, hearth, and gaggle.

I’ve been debating with myself and even discussed this book with my husband. I like the verse and the illustrations but I think the price ($19) is unreasonable. And I realize it’s just a story, but coming from a large, diverse family like I do, I wish it did a better job of promoting tolerance and acceptance of differences.

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