Saturday, April 21, 2012

Celebrating Earth Day with My Mama Earth, by Susan B. Katz - a beautifully, soothing picture book

Spring has certainly arrived and kids are so excited to play outside, run through water, pick flowers, examine bugs hiding underneath. All fitting activities for the annual Earth Day celebrations occurring today. A beautiful book to share with young children is My Mama Earth, by Susan B. Katz. I especially love the way the soothing text interweaves with the lovely illustrations.
My Mama Earth
by Susan B. Katz
illustrated by Melissa Launay
MA: Barefoot Books, 2012
ages 2 - 8
available at your local library, favorite bookstore and on Amazon
YouTube video trailer
A young child - it could be a girl or a boy - watches the rising sun, thinking of all the glory that its mother and mother Earth brings to our lives. The rhyming text is lyrical and soothing, as the young child thinks of all the places in the Earth that bring him a feeling of wonder and love.
"My mama wakes the Eastern sun,
And weaves her magic till day's done.
My mama paints the ocean creatures
Adorning them with brilliant features."
Melissa Launay's illustrations richly develop the themes and mood of the text. The settings bring to mind all that we love about spending time in nature. While they are not specific places, they draw children into imagining what it would be like to sit under a tree, watch lions roar, or swim with dolphins.

Launay's paintings interweave lush settings with a vision of mama Earth, with long flowing hair. Launay's Mama Earth will appeal to many young children, drawing on a sense of fairy tales and imagination.

Susan B. Katz is a National Board Certified, seasoned, bilingual educator with over 20 years teaching experience. She currently works as a literacy coach in Berkeley Unified School District. Her sense of what appeals to children is definitely evident in this lovely story. This is Launay's first picture book - hopefully she continues to apply her art more in this field. Read more about Launay's process developing the illustrations for My Mama Earth over at her blog.

The review copy was kindly sent by the author, Susan Katz, and her publishers, Barefoot Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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