Life at the top of the world is buried in snow, filled with white fur, and covered with white footprints. It’s in this bleak climate that we first meet the young heroine of our story. And if at first glance our world seems dismal and gray, we’ll see that color can still be found in unlikely places.
Riffing on the idea of the Arctic as a blank canvas, this book’s appropriately named illustrator, Lee White, fills the pages with watercolor scenes of smooth blues and moody grays.
Dreaming of color, the young girl sits in the gray snow. One dark night, her grandfather leads her up the mountain side with friends and family who also hope for color. Before her eyes, the night sky erupts into a dazzling spread of vibrant greens, blooming reds, and radiant purples. The stale Arctic canvas is flooded with a spinning display of colors: the Northern Lights.
Inspired by the brilliant spectacle, she and her grandfather create their own beauty with watercolors. Their playful creativity ensures that the joy found on that mountainside endures, even as the aurora fades.
We all have an instinctive “biophilia,” or love for the living world. Author Danna Smith began her own affinity with the outdoors when she was a child, surrounded by the Wasatch mountains in Salt Lake City. Nature remains her biggest inspiration. It invites us all to take on the role of artist and fosters creative exploration.