It might be verging on the wrong time of year for this, but I want to remember it for next year. Lucia is mostly remembered in America when it comes time for students to do their reports on Christmas in other countries. But in Sweden, Swedish friends have told me, Lucia is a huge and secular holiday. Lucia may be officially a Christian saint, but in Sweden she simply brings the light, no small thing in the dark of the year in a far north country. In this tradition comes this book.
Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root. Illustrated by Mary Granpre Root (Big Mama Makes the World) and Granpre (illustrator of the Harry Potter series) bring us the story of Lucia. Lucia lives with her mother and baby brother on the side of a mountain in the far north. Long ago, there were tales of trolls up in the mountain, but no one is really sure they believe these any more. It’s an ordinary cold winter, until one day, the sun doesn’t come back. The cow’s milk dries up, the baby won’t stop crying, and they are running out of food. Lucia decides to climb to the top of the mountain to see if she can find the sun. Together with her milk-white cat, Lucia battles cold, dark, and yes, trolls, to bring back the sun. It’s a fine new story for Lucia with luminous pictures, perfect for the dark of winter.