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At The Mountain’s Base is an absolutely breathtaking new picture book that celebrates love, bravery, and the unwavering support that family provides. This is a gorgeously illustrated poem that would make an incredible addition to a study on Native Americans or World War 2.
At The Mountain’s Base
At the Mountain’s Base is a poem about a fictional Cherokee family. Though it features a fictional family, the story told is one based very much in reality. The story begins as a family sits in a cabin beneath an old hickory tree. They sit by the warmth of the stove. They are cooking, singing, weaving, and worrying. Worrying about their daughter; sister; mother; who is away protecting and defending her country as a pilot. The pilot is a brave woman who knows that at home she has the support and love of a family who are waiting and praying for her safe return.
The author’s note at the end of the book provides so much background information. She explains that Native Women have served for so long and are currently serving in higher rates than all other Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Servicemembers. This poem is such a beautiful tribute to the sacrifices made on the part of not only the pilots but also the family members who fiercely support them from home!
Our Thoughts…and a Craft!
I absolutely loved this beautiful poem. I adored the circular theme, beginning in the cabin with the family, then being introduced to their pilot who is away fighting, and then coming full circle back to the cabin beneath the old hickory tree. The use of weaving throughout the pages of the book beautifully illustrated the bonds of the family. Even though the pilot is away from her family, they are always linked. The illustrations captured the emotions in everyone’s faces so well. You could feel the anguish of the family members who are home waiting for their pilot to return.
As a homeschooling Mama, I absolutely loved the history that author Traci Sorell shared in her authors note at the end of the book. I feel that I have learned so much about history and people through picture books, and At The Mountain’s Base is no exception. This would be such an incredible book to read when discussing Native American history and also World War 2. We are introduced to Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat in the author’s note and I would absolutely love to find more information out about her. She would be an absolutely amazing woman to study when talking about World War 2.
If you have followed this blog for any amount of time you will have guessed that I love to tie arts and crafts projects in with our picture books. With the theme of weaving at the heart of At The Mountain’s Base, we decided to try our hand at a small weaving project. Though our project wasn’t the same as the weaving done in the book, we thought it was a great representation!
We made an Ojo De Dios which is Spanish for “Eye of God”. I found our instructions and some amazing background information at Layers of Learning website! The Ojo De Dios was made by the Huichol Indians of Mexico as something to look over them and protect them. The center of the eye represented the sun and the spokes represented the basic elements of earth, water, fire, and wind.
This was such a fun and easy craft to do. All we used were popsicle sticks, yarn, and scissors…easy peasy! I think this will be the first of many weaving projects we try! The kids have said they would like to try weaving on a loom as well!!
For More Information
At The Mountain’s Base releases on September 17th, 2019 and is currently available for pre-order.
A huge thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book to share with you. As always, the opinions I share are always my own!
AUTHOR/ ILLUSTRATOR BIO
Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction books, as well as poems for children. Her debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (Charlesbridge Publishing) is a Junior Library Guild selection. Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma where her tribe is located.
Weshoyot Alvitre is a comic book artist and illustrator. She’s most recently worked as art director for the video game When Rivers Were Trails and illustrator on the graphic novel Redrawing History with the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the Eisner Award for Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream and Prism Award for Hummingbird Boys in Moonshot Volume 2. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and two children.