*MOM'S CHOICE AWARDS GOLD MEDAL WINNER, October 2011*
Where has mother gone? Mothers don’t leave. Mothers stay, forever. Mothers are like redwood trees, those special forever trees that grow hundreds of feet high and live for thousands of years. Mothers read storybooks aloud. They know the power of a story. Power that can even make the wrong-beats of a child’s heart go away.
Maybe the monarch butterfly was right? Perhaps they should make the journey. The one that was too long, and too far, for a girl with a wrong-beating heart. Yet there was someone in the redwood forest that Eliza just knew could help. Not just any someone. Another mother. The first mother. The one, Eliza’s own mother had spoken of. Great Mother Redwood. The very first, the oldest and wisest redwood tree of them all. She, who started the forest thousands of years ago, might know where mother had gone. It seemed impossible. To find one who had never been seen, one who had only been spoken of? Yet. Mothers dont leave. They are like redwood trees. They stay, forever.
Eliza decided she must try. She would put one foot in front of the other, slowly. She would take small steps. She knew the butterfly would be patient alongside her. Down the path. To the forever trees.
To find Great Mother Redwood.
My ten year old daughter and I often hike through the redwood forest which is just outside our home, here in Northern California. One of our favorite spots in the forest is a magical occurrence called a redwood fairy ring. Mother redwood reproduces by throwing off roots, sprouts, burls from her body. Child-redwoods form a circle around her, they are her, created from her very body. The children are as ancient as the original mother. This ring of trees is said to have a very powerful energy and magic. And I can certainly declare that when Maddie and I sit inside a fairy ring…we definitely can feel it.
Stephanie Lisa Tara
“A redwood fairy ring!” The butterfly breathed in awe.
“Redwood trees don’t reproduce with seeds like all the other trees in the world do,” said Eliza, settling into a dusty, old gray chair. “When a redwood branch falls onto the soil, it grows a sprout for a new tree, right next to its mother. More of the mother’s branches do the same thing, and a circle of children grows around her. A circle, Butterfly! Just think of it. This circle is called a fairy ring. Mother used to say that this ring is where the story of the redwoods began.”
“Where it began!” cried the butterfly. He flew onto the tip of Eliza’s nose and stared into her eyes, fluttering his orange-black wings wildly.
“Yes, the story of the redwoods begins in a fairy ring, with the first redwood tree—the one that started the forest. Mother called this tree Great Mother Redwood.”
“Ohhhhh. Oh my goodness,” the butterfly said, his voice like trembling flute notes.
“Did you and your mother ever find Great Mother Redwood?”
“Well, no.” Eliza smiled. She looked at Gulliver’s Travels in her hands and then back at the butterfly’s smiling face. She reached over and stroked his tiny head with a pinky finger. “We knew Mother Redwood was there. We could feel her. But we never found her.”
“Oh.” The butterfly studied Eliza’s face closely. “Didn’t you want . . . to find her, Eliza?”
“Well, yes. I did,” exclaimed Eliza, a little louder than she had meant to.
“Oh, I understand!” cried the butterfly, just as loudly.
“I have something to ask her,” said Eliza suddenly.
“You do?” whispered the butterfly.
“Yes, I do.” Eliza got up slowly and stood up straight. “I want to find Great Mother Redwood and ask her where Mother has gone,” she declared, her little voice sounding much bigger than it ever had.
“That is a very important question!” The butterfly nodded his antennae.
“Yes, it is,” said Eliza. “And I’m sure Great Mother Redwood will know the answer. I just can’t seem to remember anything. I’m so worried, Butterfly. I try to remember but I cannot..."
|Publisher:||Brown Books Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Since then, I've come to believe that children's verse has the power to inspire a deep love of language and learning. Words tripping off the tongue in somersaults, rhymes that stick to your thoughts like taffy--that's the essence of my award-winning books.
I've lived in lots of special places, on a farm, and in a big city skyscraper, on a tropical beach, and in the beautiful country of France. Now I live in northern California, between redwood trees and the sea, and I'm still as silly as ever.
Such nice things have been said of my books such as fun, engaging, delightful, whimsical. Some folks have said I deliver timeless messages of love that kids and parents share again and again. This really makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy my stories too. Captivating children with poetry is something I deeply believe and I live my life with this in mind, always.