Children's Book Review: When the Root Children Wake Up

Children's Book Review
With a captivating cover and a magickal title, When the Root Children Wake Up written by Audrey Wood and Ned Bettinger, is currently a favorite read in our home. Upon picking this book off the shelf at our local library, I couldn't wait to get home and dive into this story. I just knew Lily would love it! After snuggling into our cozy glider, with Pooh Bear nearby, we embarked on a journey of earth fantasy and folklore. Originally written in 1906 by Sybille von Olfers, When the Root Children Wake Up is a magickal story about the changing of the seasons, complete with rich oil paintings. The story begins with Old Grandfather Winter returning to his icy palace, marking the end of winter. With the chirping of Red Robin, the root children are awakened from their underground home with Mother Earth and begin with preparations for the masquerade. With the help of Mother Earth, the root children sew costumes out of flower blossoms and awaken the bugs deep beneath the ground. They use colors from the rainbow and paint the bugs like sparkly jewels. Lily loves this part of the story and points to the picture of the root children painting the dragonfly. She smiles from ear to ear! The story continues with Mother Earth blowing her horn and the beginning of the masquerade. The root children sing and dance with all the animals, and rush to wake up Aunt Spring. They dance through the garden, helping the flowers to bloom, and release sweet aromas into the air.

The story continues through the seasons of summer and fall and with the return of Grandfather winter. Without giving too much more away, the book ends with Mother Earth tucking the root children into bed for a long winter's nap. At the end of the story, there is a lullaby called Root Children Sleep, complete with the instrumental version for playing the song on the piano. Lily loves to sing, so this is an added bonus and perfect for parents wanting to introduce music to their children.

I highly recommend When the Root Children Wake Up, as this is a story full of magick and perfect for enhancing the imagination in children. This book is written for children ages 4-8 year olds, but like with anything else, sometimes the imaginations of our children stretch further than their age and its best to encourage that! Lily is 2 years old and I can't count on my hands how many times she has asked me to read this book! As a parent I have enjoyed reading this story and my favorite part is when Lily points to the picture of Mother Earth, looks up at me, and says "Mama?"

When the Root Children Wake Up
Author: Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Ned Bettinger
Publisher: Scholastic Press (2002)
Age Range: 4-8 years old
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