Books Picture Books Read-a-Latte

Not Just the Stars in the Skies but the entire Aurora Borealis for Valentine’s Day – A Sandburg and Lobel Collaboration


I thought that I already shared this lovely book here but a quick search in our archives revealed that I haven’t. I bought this book several years ago, but it is only now that the aurora borealis has acquired a different level of significance in my sensibilities and so, I fell in love with this beautiful book all over again. How could poetry by Sandburg and paintings done by Anita Lobel do any wrong, at all? This is an exquisite find, a Valentine treasure.


It is because I love you I give you for a birthday present the aurora borealis.

There seems to be a casual, everyday, easily-shrugged feel to capturing and holding on to the entire shining, shimmering skies and laying it on a loved one’s feet “because I love you.” Not to say of course, that it is devoid of panache, as it is a veritable display of theatricality befitting a loverman who is all-too-willing to struggle and goes on struggling to touch and tame the slippery swimmering lights to make his lady smile.


As if it is not enough, this faithful loverman promises that if his lady wants another aurora borealis, all she needs to do is say the word and he will travel to

“where the aurora borealises grow…

and I will struggle and go on struggling

till I lay on your doorstep, on your front porch,

one more aurora borealis, to show I love you.”

This book can not help but make anyone smile. So absurd is the entire notion that it can only be real and oh-so-true. My age-old exhausted wizened eyes though sometimes think that maybe showing up on one’s doorstep is enough sans the aurora borealis if that can not be tamed or ensnared in some other parallel universe. Sometimes the simplest thing like showing up is in itself a sheer impossibility. And more than enough.


This loverman though is the quintessential eager-to-please, willing-to-do-absolutely-anything, kind of guy. The recurrent word in the entire poem is ‘struggle’ – as he proves that despite the struggles, despite the difficulty, despite the impossibility of it all, he will be there, standing in her doorstep, making her smile, a rainbow in his hand.

Happy Valentine’s Day dear friends.

Not everyday an Aurora Borealis for Your Birthday: A Love Poem by Carl Sandburg and Pictures by Anita Lobel. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1998. Bought my own copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d0Read-a-Latte Challenge: 32 of 150


Myra’s update: read 2 books from my TBR stack

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “Not Just the Stars in the Skies but the entire Aurora Borealis for Valentine’s Day – A Sandburg and Lobel Collaboration

  1. Ah-h, very nice. My library doesn’t have it, but others do! I don’t know this at all, Myra. I students wrote love poems each year-these are the times I miss having a class. Thanks for sharing this one!


  2. What a beautiful, fun book!


  3. Pingback: [Poetry Friday] We Need To Carry Others’ Hearts With Us – Gathering Books

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