WAKE UP, ISLAND Listen, taste, wander!

by Nancy Bo Flood on May 8, 2016

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WAKE UP, ISLAND (University of Minnesota Press)

What a beautiful, engaging combination – Mary Casanova’s lyrical but stirring, “wake-up” language and Nick Wroblewski’s handmade woodcut block prints as illustrations. I can imagine having a little one snuggling close as I read about the slow, sensuous waking up of the many creatures in a Minnesota north woods and also the slow waking-up of a sleepy-eyed child. Listen to the morning sounds:

“Ravens perch and gargle greetings.

            Chickadees call dee, dee, dee!”

This luscious book is filled with sights and sounds. We imagine an island waking up:

Pine trees s t r e t c h their limbs and branches.

            Lichen warms on ancient rock.”

We are waking up too and realizing we all are hungry!

“Heron swoops, a two-stilt statue, watching, watching…minnows flee

            Red squirrel chatters, chitter-cheeeeeee! –

            Gathers pine cones,



                                    Three –

Munching, crunching, seed by seed.”

Yum, smell those pancakes sizzling with a heap of fresh blueberries, pour on the maple syrup, dig in, and then out you go exploring a new morning:

Quickly, quickly – run outside!

            You skip down as loon sings greetings,

            Leave your footprints – one by one ….

            Wake up, Island. Day’s begun!”

Begin a wonderful time of reading to a youngster with WAKE UP, ISLAND.

And then enjoy a walk together.

Mary Casanova May 9, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Hey, thanks so much, Nancy! You captured its essence.

Nancy Bo Flood May 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Such an beautiful, engaging book that teases all the senses to wake up and come outside for a lovely long walk. Thank you, Nancy

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