For my Neely’s News post, I am highlighting the book Dream Flights on Arctic Nights written by Brooke Hartman and illustrated by Evon Zerbetz. This beautifully illustrated book is written in a rhyming cannon and highlights many of the different natural elements of the Alaskan landscape. Both the author and illustrator of this text are native to Alaska and have drawn on their experiences in the beautiful state to influence their craft. Author, Brook Hartman, is an Alaskan mother and wife living in Chugiak in a home at the base of the mountain. Illustrator, Evon Zebetz, is a resident of an Alaskan island community called Ketchikan. Evon is known for her linocut constructions and public art displays that are installed in public buildings throughout Alaska.
The vivid imagery such as on the page spread below depict various animals that are native to Alaska including wolves, ptarmigan, and porcupines. The vibrant colors used in the illustrations are contrasted by the dark black night background.
The text also highlights a famous natural phenomenon in Alaska, the Northern Lights. While not named explicitly in the text, this page spread shows the colorful streaks across the black night sky as the young protagonist cheerful enjoys his surroundings.
Dream Flights on Arctic Nights is a wonderful new book to add to any library collection. The book offers gorgeous illustrations paired with a whimsical rhyming cannon. This book takes us away from the traditional rhyming go-tos of Dr. Seuss and can serve as a diverse text to bring in to that classroom that is reflective of native Alaska both in the content of the book as well as the author and illustrator themselves.