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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

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  466 ratings  ·  54 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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BRNTerri This is not the same exact book but IS an updated rhyming picture book featuring the same children and Mother Earth from The Story of the Root Childre…moreThis is not the same exact book but IS an updated rhyming picture book featuring the same children and Mother Earth from The Story of the Root Children, with updated illustrations. The colors in this are richer. If you like the original, you'll want this one too. It appears to have been published in 2007. You can read it for free here,

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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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 wrote this in East Prussia in 1906. It was popular back then and sold all over the world. This is a Library of Congress book that our library didn’t have. I wish I could read it to the niece as I think she would appreciate its art.

It’s about Mother Earth and her children painting bugs & flowers to get ready for spring. Then, they bring all these growing things to the earth in Spring where they flourish. The children have nice clothes on too. They make the Earth beautiful before it’s back
Lisa Vegan
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
Mother Earth and Her Children, illustrated by Sieglinde Schoen-Smith.

Originally published in 1906 as Etwas von den Wurzelkindern (literally "Something About the Root Children"), this classic German picture-book has also been released in English, together with Sibylle Von Olfer's original artwork, as The Story of the Root Children . This edition, put out in 2007, offers a new translation (in verse) by celebrated fairy-tale scholar Jack Zipes, and new illustrations - based on von Olfers' own -
Oct 27, 2011 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
Jun 27, 2008 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.
Judy Lindow
Feb 23, 2015 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 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. ...more
Juli Anna
A sweet story, and the quilted illustrations were inventive, but somehow didn't quite translate into something as magical as I had hoped. ...more
Alice Ball
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A condensed version of Sibylle von Olfers first book, The Story of the Root Children. The illustrations reflect the original through quilt and needlepoint. The text is shortened and rhymes. A wonderful journey through the seasons.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
absolutely beautiful quilted pictures recreating the picture book she grew up with, the seasons laid out as an unending circle. the original text was written by a nun but there is no christian beliefs mention. at the end is a history of the author and the quilter
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I love this author/illustrator and would own everything by her. This is a beautiful nature-themed tale for children.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sieglinde Schoen Smith's illustrations in fabric and quilting are elaborate and wonderful. ...more
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful with interesting information about the author and illustrator of this quilted fairy tale book.
Feb 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
The fact that this is quilted astonishes me.
Mar 26, 2022 rated it it was ok
A lot of the rhymes weren’t proper rhymes
Jul 03, 2011 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. ...more
Marcia First
Nov 09, 2009 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 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!
Oct 25, 2016 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!
Nov 14, 2012 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!
The quilted artwork was rather pretty -- all mushroomy and earthy and whatnot. But the text was too flouncy and uninteresting. I could hardly stay engaged while reading it to the children, and they weren't too impressed either. ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it liked it
The story is sweet ... but the quilt itself is awe-inspiring.
Apr 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book based on Etwas von den Wurzelkindern by Sibylle von Olfers. Illustrations are from the award-winning quilt by Sieglinde Schoen Smith. Love it!
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Art, & it's a real quilt that a woman made in mourning. I have it if anyone wants to check it out. ;) ...more
Feb 11, 2009 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.
Becky Dutton
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spring
If you are a quilt lover, you will enjoy this book.
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
What fabulous illustrations!
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Mother Earth and her children : a quilted fairy tale
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What and incredible quilter this woman is!
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Sibylle von Olfers (8 May 1881 – 29 January 1916) was a German art teacher and a nun who worked as an author and illustrator of children's books. In 1906 she published her best-known work, The Root Children (original title: Etwas von den Wurzelkindern, "Something about the children from the roots"). ...more

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