Arctic Circle in Children’s Literature: Stories of Wonder and Magic.


The Arctic Circle is a place where dreams come true and the impossible becomes possible. This remote and magical land has captured the imaginations of children for ages, and its spellbinding allure can be found in many works of children’s literature. From wondrous snowscapes to mystical creatures, the Arctic Circle has been a rich source of inspiration for authors and storytellers. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of Arctic literature for children, and how it captivates young minds with its tales of wonder and magic.

At the heart of Arctic literature lies its alluring landscape – a land of endless winter, where the nights are long and the days are short. This inhospitable environment, full of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, has been a subject of fascination for children’s writers. In many stories, the Arctic is depicted as an enchanted place, where anything can happen. One such example is Philip Pullman’s acclaimed series “His Dark Materials”, which features a parallel world called “the North” that is surrounded by ice and inhabited by magical creatures. Pullman’s vivid descriptions of the Arctic landscape, with its shimmering Northern Lights and treacherous ice bridges, creates a sense of wonder and adventure that captivates young readers.

Apart from its unforgiving yet magical terrain, the Arctic is also home to a diverse array of creatures that spark wonder in children’s imaginations. From majestic polar bears to mystical creatures like the yeti and the wendigo, these inhabitants of the frigid north have long been a source of fascination for children’s storytellers. In popular children’s books like “The Golden Compass” and “The Call of the Wild”, these animals are often portrayed as wise and powerful beings, capable of incredible feats. This anthropomorphism of Arctic wildlife not only adds a touch of enchantment to the story but also teaches children the importance of respecting and coexisting with nature.

The Arctic is also closely linked with themes of magic and mystery in children’s literature. A prime example is the classic story “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, which takes place in the Arctic with its icy landscapes and enchanting snowflakes. The story follows the journey of a young girl, Gerda, who sets out to save her friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen, a powerful sorceress who lives in a palace of ice. With its themes of good versus evil and the power of love, “The Snow Queen” highlights the magic and mystery of the Arctic in a way that captures the hearts of children.

Furthermore, the Arctic serves as a setting for many coming-of-age stories in children’s literature. Its barren and uninhabited landscape provides the perfect backdrop for characters to embark on a journey of self-discovery. In Elizabeth Laird’s book “Jake’s Tower”, 12-year-old Jake travels to the snowy mountains of the Arctic as he struggles to come to terms with his father’s death. In this alien and dangerous environment, he learns to survive and thrive, gaining confidence in his own abilities and resilience. This powerful story shows how the Arctic, with its harsh yet magical atmosphere, can be a catalyst for personal growth and transformation for young protagonists.

In conclusion, the Arctic Circle has been a perennial source of wonder and magic in children’s literature. Its mesmerizing landscape, mythical creatures, and mystical themes have captured the minds and hearts of young readers. The evocative descriptions of this far-flung land not only spark the imagination but also impart valuable lessons about resilience, love, and the beauty of nature. The stories set in the Arctic Circle remind us of the endless possibilities that exist in the world and inspire children to dream big and believe in the power of magic. Indeed, Arctic literature continues to enchant and captivate young readers, beckoning them into a world of endless wonder and possibility.