Earth Mother

Earth Mother

4.0 1
by Ellen Jackson, Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon
     
 

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The circle of life turns in unexpected ways.

Earth Mother awakes with the dawn. As she walks the land, swims the seas, and climbs the mountains, nurturing all of creation, she comes across
Man, Frog, and Mosquito. They each give her thanks for nature's bounty,
yet can't help but give her advice about making their lives better. Everybody's got an opinion,

…  See more details below

Overview

The circle of life turns in unexpected ways.

Earth Mother awakes with the dawn. As she walks the land, swims the seas, and climbs the mountains, nurturing all of creation, she comes across
Man, Frog, and Mosquito. They each give her thanks for nature's bounty,
yet can't help but give her advice about making their lives better. Everybody's got an opinion, it seems, and Earth Mother is amused when it becomes clear that the circle of life is not without a healthy dose of cosmic humor.

Leo and Diane Dillon lend their formidable talents to Ellen Jackson's original folktale about the unexpected and sometimes humorous ways that life is interconnected.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A spare text and stunning artwork introduce Earth Mother, an elegant African-American woman dressed in intricately patterned robes, who keeps watch over all creation. After awakening with the dawn, she "walked across the land singing a morning song [and] placed a piece of summer in a flower's seed." For her purposeful wanderings in the African savannah, she wears "a robe fringed with falling rain," and the Dillons portray her replenishing the dry land with water. Later, they paint her Zeus-like, hurling thunderbolts from a mountain peak. In her travels, she encounters three beings who reveal nature's cycle in a kind of refrain. Man thanks Earth Mother for the frogs he catches for breakfast but complains of the mosquito's bites ("If there were more frogs and no mosquitoes... this world would be perfect"); a frog, grateful for the mosquitoes that fill his belly, grumbles about Man (without whom "this world would be perfect"); and a mosquito fears the frog but is grateful for Man, on whom she feasts. For each, the square framed paintings depict Earth Mother listening patiently; finally she bids good night to "her children everywhere.... And the world, in its own way, was perfect." Rendered in watercolor and colored pencils and featuring an effectively muted palette, the Dillons' illustrations capture the spiritual aura of Jackson's graceful words. Large-scale images of flora native to the habitats flank the depictions of Earth Mother's activities, further underscoring nature's bounty and beauty. Ages 3-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Who is Earth Mother? There is no definition or description but she appears to be a form of Mother Nature, blessing and talking to all of the animals on Earth (including Man), tending the plants, bringing the snow and ice to northern climes, and touching the cycle of life. Depicted as a young African-American woman, Earth Mother is serene and gentle, passing through her day and making everyone aware that all is exactly the way it should be. Unfortunately, the text is dry and static: "`You are kind to me, Earth Mother,' said Man. `You have sent Frog to fill my belly and I am grateful.'" Nothing much happens: Man complains that Mosquito bites him, Frog complains that Man eats him, and Mosquito complains that Frog eats him. The magnificent illustrations are classic Leo and Diane Dillon, with a palette dominated by browns, greens, blues, and other earth tones. Soft and elegant, they beg for a brighter text. Still, reading it a few times helps readers realize the book's calming effect. In today's crazy world, an example of things following a routine with soft, caring people and animals is not a bad thing. The art is worth much more than the cover price, and teachers and parents will find a way to use this story.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A wry and cosmic look at the interdependence of all things, wonderfully illustrated by the inimitable Dillons. Earth Mother arises, sings a morning song and does her work: hanging green acorns on the trees; putting summer inside a flower seed; sending forth lightning and snow. She meets Man by the river, who thanks her for the delicious frogs that ease his hunger. But why, asks Man, does she torment him with "wretched Mosquito?" When Earth Mother encounters Frog, he thanks her for Mosquito, who fills his belly, and castigates Man, who catches and eats frogs. As she continues to the ocean depths and meadows, she meets Mosquito, who is grateful for Man, "tender and delicious," and wishes there were no more frogs. Each watercolor-and-colored pencil image has its frame broken by a plant that springs from the bottom of the page: thistle, lily, lotus, rose. Mother Earth's garments are a gown the color of rich earth and an ever-changing tunic with patterns of cloud or leaf or starfish or peacock feather or African kente cloth. Curvilinear and geometric patterns shape the illustrations as Earth Mother moves from the savannah to the snows, from falling rain to falling fireflies. Beautiful and satisfying; its own teachable moment. (Picture book. 4-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802789921
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
10/07/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.24(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.41(d)
Lexile:
AD700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Ellen Jackson is an award-winning author of more than fifty fiction and nonfiction books for children. She lives with her family in Santa Barbara, California.

Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon have illustrated more than forty books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning titles, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove. The couple live in Brooklyn, New York.

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Earth Mother 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
grisaille More than 1 year ago
Gorgeous artwork by the Dillons is the perfect accompaniment to Jackson's sing-song text. This is a wonderful read-aloud book. Kids will love the illustrations, even while they laugh at Man and Frog and Mosquito.