Author & Illustrator: Sibylle von Olfers
Publisher: Floris Books, 1990
Intended Audience: Ages 3-7
Topic / Theme: Spring, Mother Nature, Flowers
Brief Synopsis (from www.steinerbooks.org): "This is a classic story of the changing seasons. The root children spend the winter asleep. When spring comes, they wake, sew themselves new gowns, and clean and paint the beetles and bugs. All summer they play in fields, ponds and meadows before returning in the autumn to Mother Earth, who welcomes them home and puts them to bed once more."
Opening: Under the ground, deep in the earth among the roots of the trees, the little root-children were fast asleep all winter long.
Why I Like This Book: This is a sweet story of how flowers come up from the ground. It helps children think about creating their own stories about the miracles we see all around us. The language is old fashioned and lovely. “There too old father Sliffslaff-Slibberslak came slowly creeping along.” This is about a snail and the children never forget it. They love to feel the sounds his name makes as it rolls in their mouth.
1) This book really lends itself to the art of Storytelling. Story Arts is a great resource for this.
2) This would also work well with teaching about myths. Myths, Folktales and Fairy Tales.
3) I like to share famous pictures of mythical creatures and let the children write a story from what they see. Then I put the painting in the middle of a bulletin board and have the stories all around it. It really shows children how our own experiences and perspectives change how we see the same thing. See The Hunt of the Unicorn below. The original is at the Cloisters in NY.