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Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale
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Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  335 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
The incredibly intricate and vivid illustrations in this book are details of a modern quilt inspired by Sibylle von Olfers' classic storybook Mother Earth and Her Children. This vibrant new translation, in turn inspired by the quilt, explores the changing of the seasons and delicately touches upon the circle of life. When Mother Earth calls her children to prepare for spri ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Breckling Press (first published 1906)
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Dec 06, 2009 Manybooks rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Sibylle von Olfers, anyone who loves Jugendstil illustrations
After being rather disappointed with the text (the translation, or rather the so-called translation) of The Story of the Root-Children, I am glad to have been quite pleasantly surprised with and by both the text and the quilted illustrations of Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale. I have to admit that while the original illustrations by Sibylle von Olfers will always remain a personal favourite, I was and continue to be wowed and impressed by Sieglinde Schoen-Smith's quiltwork an ...more
Sibylle von Olfers' Etwas von den Wurzelkindern is one of my all-time favourite picture books. I loved this book as a child (and have fond memories of both of my grandmothers reading it to me), and I still love both the simple, poetic text and the luminous "Jugendstil" illustrations. Sibylle von Olfers' masterpiece represents a glowing, loving homage to spring, youth, rebirth, joy, and the loving care Mother Earth gives to all. For a picture book originally published in 1906, this (in my humble ...more
Lisa Vegan
Nov 01, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I read this version, illustrated by Sieglinde Schoen Smith, in the form of a quilt that she made. The original book appears to have an edition illustrated by the author. This edition is translated by Jack Zipes and from what I’ve read, it’s also not the full original text that Sibylle von Olfers wrote over a century ago. I am curious about the other edition.

The quilt is lovely, especially the last frame that shows the entire pattern. I do love quilts and this has such a detailed pattern. The boo
Jun 27, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful story! Written as a German tale in 1906, Sieglinde Schoen Smith retells it in the beauty of quilt.
The illustrations are of the actual quilt that Ms. Smith created from this precious tale of Mother Earth, her children, and the seasons of the year.
Oct 27, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
The incredible illustrations in this book are details of a modern quilt inspired by Sibylle von Olfers' classic storybook Mother Earth and Her Children. This book was inspired by the quilt which explores the changing of the seasons and lightly talks about the circle of life. When Mother Earth calls her children to prepare for spring, the earthly children come and stretch before they make themselves beautiful and ready for the season to change. They dust off the bumblebees, scrub the beetles, pai ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story of the Root Children.

What a wonderful little book! I found an online edition, complete with artwork, at Unfortunately it was in the original German so I had my husband translate it for me (over the phone while he was out of town for work--what a fabulous guy!). It's difficult to translate poetry, so I'm sure I missed out on some of the magic, but I picked up the gist of the story. The root children are little flowers and weeds whom Mother Earth awakens to prepare
Judy Lindow
Feb 23, 2015 Judy Lindow rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a mini-version of Sibylle von Olfers' classic story, "The Root Children". The Story of the Root Children is Sibylle von Olfers' (1881-1916) best known work. Her blend of natural observation and use of simple design has led to comparisons with Kate Greenaway and Elsa Beskow.

All through the winter the Root Children are asleep underground, but when spring comes Mother Nature wakes them up. Then the Root Children are busy cleaning and painting the beetles and bugs. When summer comes they pla
Crystal Marcos
May 08, 2011 Crystal Marcos rated it liked it
I enjoyed the illustrations in Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale. I haven't read the original version and hope to someday if it is ever translated fully into English. I did not care much for the rhyming text in this version. It didn't flow very well, especially as a read aloud. I understand this was a shorter version than the original. I liked the additional informative text in the back of the book.
1906 veröffentlichte Sibylle von Olfers das Buch „Etwas von den Wurzelkindern“. In diesem Buch leben die Wurzelkinder (wer auch immer sie sein sollen) mit ihrer Mutter Erde unter der Erde bei den Pflanzenwurzeln. Im Frühjahr nähen sich die Wurzelkinder selber bunte Kleidchen, malen Käfer an und vertrödeln den Rest der warmen Jahreszeit in Wald und Flur, bis sie im Herbst wieder unter die Wurzeln verschwinden.
Als Kind hatte ich keinen Kontakt zu diesem Buch. Wahrscheinlich muss man es als Kind l
Jul 03, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
This is a retelling of an old German folk tale, with illustrations that are pictures of a quilt created based on the story. The story line is a cute one about the changing seasons, involving little children (called "root children" in the German original) who sleep through the winter and are woken in the spring by Mother Nature. The quilt is amazingly intricate and well-done. But I just didn't see the story grabbing current children.
Oct 25, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Loved the illustrations and the words that accompany them; book makes me feel magical and ready to go off to dreamland. The little ones are woken up and work hard at making clothes; so much to do, so little time before spring arrives! The book is also about the four seasons. What a delightful book, with gorgeous illustrations of the little ones, as well as of nature. A sure delight for storytime!
Marcia First
Nov 09, 2009 Marcia First rated it liked it
Genre: Fairy Tale

This is an incredible book mainly for its art work. It is all done in quilting and the detail is amazing. It is absolutely stunning. The story is about Mother Earth's little cherubs who help with the work to get summer going: like painting the beetles and brushing the bees. The story is told in verse and is simple and childlike and matches the artwork beautifully.
May 03, 2014 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Lovely verse tells the story of the root children who array themselves in the various colors of flowers for spring and summer, and then are called back to mother earth as the autumn winds begin to blow. The pictures are photographs of an amazing hand-embroidered quilt depicting this story of nature. Beautiful!
Nov 14, 2012 Alice rated it liked it
The story is nice, but I wonder what i would be like in the Original German (I speak a little German) I wonder if the translation is close. Anyways, the story is simple and lovely and I think that is what Sibylle Von Olfers was trying to convey!
Maren Prestegaard
Oct 26, 2012 Maren Prestegaard rated it liked it
Shelves: fall
Something kind of special about this book. But may appeal to adults more than kids with its sense of style.
Sep 09, 2011 Brooke rated it really liked it
It was one of my favorite German children's books when I was growing up, it was fun to finally read it in English:)
Sep 10, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read
The text is sweet, but the quilt made to illustrate the story is magnificent.
Mar 13, 2013 Leaflet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
The quilt-work is stunning.
Jun 02, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
What and incredible quilter this woman is!
Jul 18, 2013 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Sweet, sweet story and colorful and bright illustrations. Each page was wonderful.
Aug 02, 2011 Rebeccameder rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Really quaint and beautiful quilt turned into illustrations for this gentle book. I think it's best viewed in it's entirety at the end of the story.
Feb 20, 2008 Allanna rated it liked it
The story is sweet ... but the quilt itself is awe-inspiring.
Jul 06, 2014 Kami rated it it was ok
The quilt (therefore the pictures) was amazing. The story not so much.
Mother Earth and her children : a quilted fairy tale
Becky Dutton
Mar 09, 2009 Becky Dutton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spring
If you are a quilt lover, you will enjoy this book.
May 18, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous illustrations. Bittersweet story behind the story (as told in the back of the book.) Lovely.
Feb 11, 2009 Holly rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A Charming book that allows curiosity and imagination while exploring the world of nature. We read it in our unit on animals in winter.
Apr 25, 2012 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read for change of seasons.
Oct 31, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favourite books, a childhood favourite I thought I'd never find again.
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