Tierra, Tierrita/Earth, Little Earth

Piñata Bks. (Madre ­Tierra/Mother Earth: Bk. 4). May 2023. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781558859678. BL.
PreS-Gr 2–Mother Earth is all around, in every mineral, plant, and animal—from dawn to sunset, from water to fire. Acclaimed Nahua poet Argueta follows up his previous nature-themed picture books (most recently Viento, vientito) with this rumination on Mother Earth with Indigenous cosmovision at its heart. The one- to five-line Spanish-language verses, set on a light brown background on the verso page, progress through the book as if the words in black type were living beings, pouring gratitude to the one mother of all. The verses are separated by Mesoamericanlike iconography. The English translation emulates the emotions of the Spanish narrative, expressing the message of the need for a healthy ecosystem. The colored pencil illustrations on the recto pages communicate the book’s ambiance with detailed depictions that will resonate for children. This book could be read alongside Argueta’s picture book Fuego, fueguito in a climate action or environmental-themed story time. The back matter includes the entire poem in Nahuatl.
VERDICT An environmental picture book that connects young children with the positive emotions drawn from Mother Earth as the creator of all life.

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