Savor this scrapbook of softly filtered illustrations honoring the wonders of Mama Earth.
Each double-page spread averages 50 words, but older readers will appreciate the rural natural world of a northern temperate climate, and younger readers will enjoy illustrations of curious children scouting out pumpkins growing in the field, decorating shrubs with strings of berries for winter birds, collecting maple sap in the spring, and enjoying a summer campfire with fireflies, mosquitos, and toasted marshmallows. The book is organized by month beginning with September, so classrooms as well as families can revisit the book monthly and focus on the lyrical descriptions of change. In October, feel “Mama [laugh] a chill wind / that stirs the maple leaves / into a golden whirl / while children spin and spin.” In January, watch and listen as “Mama Earth loads the trees’ arms / with white, and blows light fluff / against the windowpane.” “Mama Earth’s sunny smile cracks / the last of April’s ice along the river’s / edge.” Readers who don’t live in the country or in a temperate climate can compare and contrast how their weather, plants, animals, and outdoor exploration change monthly and create their own scrapbook. The five child characters are racially diverse; except for one jack-o’-lantern, both text and illustrations are free of holiday references.
A yearlong exploration of nature to hold in your hands.(author’s note, illustrator’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)