While not everyone knows what it’s like to live in a frozen tundra, I think we all can relate to the feeling of monotony this young girl experiences in Arctic White. Danna Smith’s lovely story follows a girl and her grandfather through their daily life in the Arctic: white, white, and more white…oh, and sometimes gray. Until one dark night they travel across the tundra and up a mountain to find an unbelievable display: The Northern Lights!
Lee White’s illustrations perfectly capture both the cold expanse of the arctic and the vibrant colors of the Northern Lights. We wanted to explore that contrast with our own wintry arctic scene:
1.Use the chalk on the black paper for those beautiful Northern lights colors. We looked at the pictures in the book as we worked, but anything goes here! The 5 year old eventually ended up with all the chalk in one hand; the two year old was more precise. Remember: we’re exploring!
2. Smudge some of the chalk for a shimmering effect. I set out cotton balls for the smudging, but fingers work great too!
3. Use the paint pen to dot the sky with stars. Disclaimer: While the paint pen was super fun to use, it is apparently not super washable. You live you learn, and you deal with white marks on your table.
4. Cut out some snowy mountain peaks from the white paper and glue them to the bottom of your scene.
5. Add any “finishing touches” (as the five year old likes to say), and you’re done!
Here’s how their Northern Lights turned out:
Next time I might try wet chalk for more vibrant colors… and I’ll ditch the paint pen.