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,
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.