A year with Mama Earth

Rebecca Grabill

Book - 2019

"Mama Earth looks after nature's plants and animals throughout the year, singing lullabies to fat bears in the fall, dressing evergreens in icicles in winter, and waking up the crocuses in spring. And in the summer, Mama Earth sends warm sunbeams to her beloved children, so they can play outside and enjoy the amazing world around them"--Dust jacket.

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Picture books
Grand Rapids, Michigan : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers 2019.
Physical Description
36 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 22 cm
Main Author
Rebecca Grabill (author)
Other Authors
Rebecca Green, 1986- (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

Inspired by Grabill's childhood in Michigan, this poetic picture book explores the cycle of seasons. Month by month, beginning in September, the text personifies nature: Mama Earth rustles her autumn wings / to cool her hot, tired face. Her sigh brings the first frost of fall. In October, her laugh makes a chill wind. Come November, she sings a lullaby to woodland animals. And so on through the months, until September rolls around and she sighs out / fall's first glistening frost. Each verse references Mama Earth, and may also mention trees, woodland animals, and of course, children. The personification of Earth occurs in the free-verse text only, while the stylized, digital art explores seasonal changes and activities. In the illustrations, children take the lead, identifying animal tracks in snow (February), floating paper boats downriver (April), and so on. Green, who also grew up in Michigan, depicts several kids, the occasional adult, and a variety of animals in rural, outdoor scenes that shift from one month to the next. A vivid picture book for all seasons.--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In adjective-rich language, Grabill personifies Earth as a "Mama" who "rustles her autumn wings/ to cool her hot, tired face" in September and "laughs a chill wind/ that stirs the maple leaves/ into a golden whirl" in October. Starting in September and moving month by month through a full year, each spread conjures something characteristic about the specific month and its place in the shifting seasons. (Readers based in climates with distinct seasons, like Michigan-based Grabill, will likely feel the deepest sense of recognition.) Green's stylized, textural digital illustrations feature sweet-faced children of varying ages and skin tones peeking at pumpkins, identifying tracks in the snow, tapping maples for syrup, and spraying hoses among landscapes populated by deer, squirrels, turtles, bees, and a friendly cat. It's a winsome seasonal confection. Ages 4--8. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

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) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.