Monday, July 28, 2008

The Near-Perfect Book for Me

I have been waiting to get my hands on a copy of this book: The cover says it all. It encompasses many of my favorite things. Not only is it a picture book (which is my favorite kind of literature), but it's also an ABC book (which I collect), with illustrations of embroidery (which I love to do), based on a quilt (which I enjoy making) that was inspired by one of my favorite picture books. Whew!

Mother Earth's ABC, isn't an A is for apple, B is for bear type of ABC book. Rather, the letters of the alphabet start each line of the poem that tell the story. It begins "A seedling sleeps Beneath frozen trees, Cradled snug against their roots." Thankfully, there is no forced rhyme. The story of the seedling unfolds elegantly through the story, until at the end we discover the seedling has become a Zinnia.

The illustrations are drawings of applique and embroidery, rather than photos of the actual thing, but they are charming and inspiring nonetheless. The back section of the book encourages the reader to try his/her own hand at embroidery and applique, and gives some suggestions on how to get started. This is by no means an introductory or instructional book to the needle arts, though. It serves only as inspiration. But it's a very lovely inspiration!

As far as I can tell, the book Mother Earth and Her Children, which is the original story upon which all these other books are based, was later published as The Story of the Root-Children:

In the story, winter is ending, so Mother Earth awakens her children to prepare the world for spring. They march out onto the earth
and work busily and joyfully through spring, summer, and fall, until winter comes again and Mother Earth calls them back inside to rest.

If anyone knows if Mother Earth and Her Children is actually a different story than The Story of the Root-Children, please let me know.