This article is by Publisher Liaison Christina Moorehead
Whether peeking through clouds, reflected over the water, or glowing bright behind mountains, sunsets compel people of all ages—absolutely including children—to pause whatever they are doing and take a long look. Perhaps we love sunset s because of the colors—peach, gold, lavender, red—or because sunsets can so often evoke strong feelings. These surely are the same reasons why sunsets can be spotted in stories for all ages—especially picture books! Take a look at a few beautiful sunset-enhanced titles from our Publisher Spotlight creators!
In Gecko Press’ Elephant Island, the final spread of the book glows with a brilliant sunset that signals not only an end to the book, but also a happy end to the story. Leo Timmers’ distinctively detailed collage-style art brings Arnold’s elephantine seafaring adventures to irresistible life—and then conclusion–with this jaw-dropping sunset.
The Beach by Sol Undurraga and published by Tapioca Stories invites readers to take a sunrise-to-nightfall peek at a day in the lives of people and other living creatures on a beach. Endless layers of detail introduce readers to early morning fisherfolk, flocks of seagulls, and then wave after wave of swimmers and sunbathers, each of whom frolic until the setting sun dips below the horizon, signaling the end of a fun day.
What on Earth Books brings us a multitude of breathtaking sunsets in It’s Up to Us, a climate change call-to-action from HRH Prince Charles and author Christopher Lloyd. The 33 contributing global artists offer readers a rich collection of visual explorations of climate change. Sunsets figure powerfully in many of the illustrations, leading us to ask: how do sunsets illuminate and even shape our thoughts about climate change and the well-being of our planet?
Images and descriptions of sunsets–or the lack thereof– also broaden our understanding of this planet and the many different peoples and habitats upon it. In Tanna’s Lemming published by Inhabit Media, we learn from the very first sentence a notable fact about life in the Arctic: ”On the day Tanna met her lemming, the sun never set.” Illustrator Tamara Campeau nevertheless chooses to imbue this first glimpse of Tanna’s world with the sweeping gold and peach hues of a sky just starting to shift toward sunset. The color combination is echoed throughout the book—a beautiful compliment to authors Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley’s melodic storytelling and an effective touchpoint for readers.
These sunset-filled books—and many more—are rich sources of conversation starters and further reflection and activity: why did the illustrator (and/or author) decide to show a sunset? How is the setting sun important to the story? How do sunsets make you feel? We hope these books spark many new ideas and deeper questions when you next gaze upon a sunset!