A young girl and her mother chase the aurora borealis.
After viewing a solar eclipse, Alix worries that she’ll never see anything so wonderful again. Her mom’s passing comment that auroras are “pretty cool” gets the girl researching, and before long, she’s managed to tag along on her mom’s Alaska work trip (Alix pays for her own ticket). The two pet a reindeer calf (though its antlers indicate it’s at least 3 years old in the illustration) and go dog sledding, but they see only a faint green glow in the sky. Undaunted, they visit Glacier National Park, where they see a green arch overhead, but it’s right in their own Pacific Northwest neck of the woods that they see the spectacular light show they longed for, aided by an app that sends out aurora alerts. Unfortunately, the vast majority of science facts are found only in the dense, text-heavy backmatter, which explains the science behind eclipses and auroras, describes how to hunt for them and the best conditions for seeing them, and provides further resources. Lee’s nature scenes can be luminous, the colors at their best seeming to glow on the pages and beckon readers in. In contrast, the indoor scenes and views of the white-presenting mother and daughter can be awkward and pull readers out of the wonder that is the great outdoors.
A mixed introduction to the aurora borealis that nevertheless may have readers itching to start hunts of their own. (Picture book. 5-8)