New Book Highlights Solvang Letter by Letter
"S is for Solvang: an ABC"
Former Santa Barbara resident Jane Faulkner has published a children’s alphabet book that celebrates in words and photographs the history and culture of Solvang, the village known as “Little Denmark.” Drawing on fun facts, and with lively storytelling, S is for Solvang: an ABC explores the city’s historical diversity and Danish influence.
More than a million visitors from around the world visit Solvang every year to admire the architecture, indulge in Danish aebleskiver pastries, ride the horse-drawn trolley, visit Mission Santa Inés, explore the local wineries, and enjoy the peaceful country life. S is for Solvang: an ABC offers children and adults alike a delightful way to learn about this charming — and fascinating — town on the central coast of California.
“Solvang has such a rich history. The Danish arrived in 1911, but before that were the Mexican and Spanish and indigenous Chumash peoples,” said Faulkner, who is both author and illustrator. “I tried to capture the diversity in 26 alphabet letters.”
Faulkner noted that when she travels, she likes to learn quick facts about the places she visits, but sometimes finds a complete guidebook overwhelming. “I wrote this book for Solvang’s visitors, so they’d have a brief, accurate way to learn a few things as they explore the town,” she said. “But I also had our local children in mind, thinking this would be a fun, easy way to gain an understanding of the history and culture of their hometown.
A literature librarian at the UC Santa Barbara Library, Faulkner earned her master’s degree in Library & Information Science at UCLA, with an emphasis on children’s literature. She has extensive collections of California history books and of vintage alphabet books, and after moving to Solvang in 2017 she saw a wonderful opportunity to combine both of these interests. In “S is for Solvang: an ABC” she found an entertaining, practical, and easy way to introduce children and visitors to this unique town’s diverse and fascinating history.
S is for Solvang: an ABC is available at Chaucer’s Books, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum,the Book Loft, the Elverhoj Museum, and other local shops. It may be purchased online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.