A Children’s Book by Jennifer Hartman and Mousam Banerjee
I don’t normally just randomly purchase children’s books too often. Yes, I have a six year old, but he has his own tastes that I can’t always predict, and I’m better suited taking him to a library to find his own stuff. That said, this review is the result of me buying a kid’s book to support something I believe in and possibly read to the little guy at some point. I am an avid participant on Kickstarter for comics and books, and one of my typical Kickstarter searches is for the word “Pagan”, which is generally pretty fruitless 99% of the time. However, one day my search popped up a book called Midsommar Sól by Jennifer Hartman and Mousam Banerjee and I couldn’t be more happy.
“Midsommar Sól is a mid-summer festival story featuring an ancient Norse goddess who pulls the sun across the sky. On the longest and brightest day of the year, she takes a break to dance and play.”
I have felt for a long time that Paganism in pretty much any form is still somewhat “In the closet” in most predominantly Christian areas, and you simply don’t see anything like books published for Pagan Children anywhere, and especially not in English. I’m hoping that this starts a trend of more books like this being available, and especially ones that go over actual religious practices rather than general storytelling about things like Gods filtered through the lens of a world mythology book or some such. For more information, Pagan Kids is the company that published this book.
The book itself is a story of the Germanic Sun Goddess Sól (or Sunna) and the celebration of Midsommar or the traditional celebration of the Summer Solstice. During the Summer, Sól works very hard to ride her sun chariot through the skies allowing the farmers and workers ample time to get everything ready for the long, bitter winter. She sees everyone working hard and decides to make a way for everyone to have a day off and celebrate. She leaves The Sun parked in the sky and comes to Earth to celebrate with the humans, even being crowned The Midsommar / May Queen in the Process. She has left the sun in the sky too long, and needs to let everyone rest now, so she heads off to sleep.
This is a fun book with gorgeous artwork and a simple yet informative story. It explains what The Summer Solstice is, what Midsommar is, and who Sól is without going crazy with expeditionary dialogue and other info dumps that can bog books like this down. That said, there is a nice little glossary at the end that explains some of the terms, and with the book being written from a Swedish vantage point, I was happy to see some of the terms defined. Midsommar Sól is a nice surprise, and a great addition to any Pagan library.