Upon waking from her winter nap, Mother Earth begins her journey caring for the earth in all of its glorious variety—spurring the seasons, guiding the animals, and treasuring the tiniest creatures. Even when she pours down too much rain and causes a flood, Mother Earth is shown afterward lovingly wringing out the trees. “She guards all the creatures in all the oceans” and “sprinkles the snow,” performing all of her duties before settling into a hopeful sleep to wait for spring. Sanna’s loving, calm, and happy personification of the earth matches Newberry Medal winner MacLachlan’s gentle, thoughtful, and poetic tribute to “My friend Earth.” While some lines are tricky to read aloud on the first try—“the black manta rays sleek like shadows”—the sparkling diction of “sun-dappled wild horses” and admirable alliterations—“the baby black bears are born in soft darkness”—create an altogether tender and tickling flow. Less a story and more a remarkably depicted ode to Mother Earth, this book inspires a greater appreciation for nature and the planet.
Patricia MacLachlan is a versatile and proliﬁc author whose titles range from picture books to novels, including the Newbery Medal–winning Sarah, Plain and Tall. Barkus was inspired by the imagined adventures of her neighbor’s dog. She lives in Massachusetts
Francesca Sanna grew up on the Italian island of Sardinia. She studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Academy of Art and Design in Lucerne. Her book The Journey received five starred reviews and was lauded by the New York Times and the Guardian. Francesca currently lives in Zurich, but you can visit her at francescasanna.com.
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