For many, the concept of the midnight sun is a driving force bringing people from all over the United States (and the world) to Alaska during the summer. I cannot even begin to describe how strange it was to have sunshine at 11pm the first time we experienced that phenomenon! While we still have a sunset in our part of Alaska during the summer, we never truly get “dark” in June and July. A bit further north in Alaska, however, it truly is sunny 24 hours a day. To celebrate this midnight sun, I want to share with you this month’s children’s Alaska book, Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun, along with our corresponding worksheet.
Summer Solstice in Alaska
On June 21, we experience summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere. This is the longest day of the year, and it is a huge celebration in Alaska. People plan midnight hikes up mountains and celebrate the summer sun. The book Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun by Deb Vanasse encapsulates this celebration perfectly. While some Alaskan families plan grand parties, many simply partake in the activities that most Alaskans love. We climb mountains, watch the moose and eagles, pick fireweed, have picnics, and fish for salmon. Even though we are tired, no one wants to go to sleep. It’s simply too beautiful.
Overview of Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun
Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun tells of a girl who waits all through the long, dark, Alaskan winters for summer. And on summer solstice, this little girl, her mother, and brother go on an adventure. They hike through a field of fireweed, fish for salmon, find an assortment of wildlife, make flower crowns, and have a picnic on the top of a mountain. At midnight, the little girl admires the beautiful scenery and dances in delight of it all. And then, after midnight, she caves to the exhaustion and falls asleep under the sun in complete happiness. When completing the Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun review, I found the book to be a delightful depiction of the realities of summer solstice in Alaska. We celebrate the light that we know will eventually give way to the winter darkness. The book is wholesome and sweet, with simply adorable illustrations.
In Conclusion: A delightful depiction of Alaska’s summer solstice
In some parts of the world, it may seem different to celebrate summer solstice or the longest day of the year (however you refer to it!). But in Alaska it is truly a sweet time of enjoying the nature and creation around us. Our children love the summer for running freely amongst the forests, fields, or our backyard in the beautiful sun past their bedtime. It’s when the white snow-covered hills bring forth bountiful berry harvests and gorgeous wildflowers. And it’s when the midnight sun both enraptures our spirits, and confuses our bodies with an inability of knowing when we should be sleeping. (Trust me – sleep during the summer can be a struggle, even if it is a delightful struggle!) I love how Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun captures these precious moments. It is definitely a book that makes me smile, and my kids relate very well to the story. It is definitely one to have in your personal library or borrow from your local library system.