Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When the Root Children Wake Up” as Want to Read:
When the Root Children Wake Up
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When the Root Children Wake Up

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Complimented with Ned Bittinger's stunning illustrations, best-selling author Audrey Wood's new version of a timeless classic is the perfect read aloud for this spring and gift all year round.

When Old Grandfather Winter disappears into his ice palace high in the mountains, Young Robin chirps her wake-up song to the Root Children deep underground. "Wake up," she sings. "It'
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When the Root Children Wake Up, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When the Root Children Wake Up

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
For those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience, to read either Sibylle von Olfers' delightful Etwas von den Wurzelkindern (both the author/illustrator's sweetly poetic verses that glorify and celebrate the seasons, the loving care of mother nature and her enchanting minions, as well as her glowing and evocatively tender exquisitely descriptive Jugendstil-like accompanying illustrations) or Jack Zipes' almost equally stunning and narratively, poetically authentic feeling transl ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
The fifth and final version of this story that I have rated and reviewed recently, Audrey Wood's When the Root Children Wake Up is a very loose prose reinterpretation of a classic German picture-book, Etwas von den Wurzelkindern ("Something About the Root Children") that was originally written and illustrated by Sibylle von Olfers in 1906. It is noteworthy, in that it manages to retain almost none of the charm of that original work, while inserting a great many disturbing elements, both visual ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pic-books
Yeah, I'm rating this harshly, probably because I like the early versions of this story so much better. This just doesn't capture the essence of the changing seasons and the role of the root children in nature. Yes, here they painted the bright colors on the insects, but then they spent all of their time frolicking in the grasses. On some pages, they seem tiny, while on others they look to be the size of normal children. They are all 'pretty' kids, representing many races, probably too realistic ...more
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
Hippyish anthropomorphization of the seasons, starring little flower-clad "root children" who run around being in touch with nature.
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I don't think this book would have particularly wide appeal, but I really enjoyed the fresh images and the allegoric language. I think what drew me into this book most of all, however, is that it is a remake of a 1906 German book (see the publishing notes on the last page). I love to see good and mostly forgotten literature make its way back onto the shelves. It is part of where story (and we) came from.
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful version of these amazing Root Children. Beautifully illustrated baby things of all sizes, shapes, and colors that make this tale so wonderful! :D Come underground and visit with Mother Earth as she awakens her sweet baby things to color and brighten the world with their splendor for Spring and Summer!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A nicely illustrated version of the old children's classic.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My nephew loves this book. He had me read it over and over last time I was spending time with him. It is a magical story about the change in seasons and a fun and exciting day for the root children coming to an end. I definitely recommend this as bedtime story and, even if you are not so good at sight reading, sing the lullaby in the back at the end. I think that was one of my nephew's favorite parts.
Alexandra Veilleux
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. When I was younger I just liked flipping through the book and looking at the wonderful pictures. This book is a great way to introduce an Earth Space and Science lesson about seasons and how they go through a cycle. This would be a great book to add to you library if you have young children and/or work with young children. It makes for a great read aloud and can also be turned into a song.
weirdly beautiful
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are some amazing paintings in this book. I actually like the art more than the story. Anthropomorphic personifications of the seasons appear and disapear throughout the year. The pictures are too complex for a group read-aloud (noone would see the details) but could be could for a one on one with an older child, or just to have around the house.
Jennifer Heise
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nature, picturebook, pagan
This is a remake of an early 20th century German book, so there's plenty of twee there-- which was ok since I don't mind twee. Audrey Wood's baroque illustrations were a fun read for me, and there's definitely a nature-god subtext going on there. My six year old son was uninterested. I'd pair it with the Lynne Plourde seasons books (Spring's Sprung etc.)
The Brothers
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales, seasons
The story of the season told by the comings and goings of the Root Children. They have various relatives (Mother Earth, Aunt Spring, Grandfather Winter) that usher them into each new season.

Illustrations are enticing and ethereal.
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
it's a good earthly book all about the seasons.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lovely story and illustrations. a fun way to explore season changes.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful Art and Lovely Story
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Better art than story, made the kiddo nod off - not a bad thing at bedtime though ;)
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wonderfully illustrated! The words really touched me. I love books where the seasons are people!
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-flora
living book- seasons
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this when I was a little girl. Cute story and beautiful pictures. Love it!!
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
The pictures were nice, but the story was long and boring. Not up to the usual Audrey Wood standard.
Apr 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Loved the picture and the classic season story. Kenshin even liked this one.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Waldorf-y, Goddess inspired. Beautiful illustrations. I impose this on my children regularly. And they all get wrapped up in it. It's truly enchanting.
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book personifies the magic of the changing seasons, with characters like Grandfather Winter, Aunt Spring, Cousin Summer, etc. The illustrations are outstanding.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute story about the seasons. Any fan of fairies will love this book, especially the beautiful illustrations. Always been a fan of Audrey Wood since I was little.
Feb 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Pretty retelling of how seasons come and go.
Jodi Ottobre
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A beautiful book about celebrating the seasons.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: primary and intermediate grades
Shelves: picture-books
This book has beautiful descriptive language and glorious artwork. Audrey Wood personifies the four seasons. I use the book for demonstrating descriptive writng to my second graders.
Apr 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: spring
Lori Longoria
rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Audrey Wood studied art and drama at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has owned an operated a book and import store, taught chldren's drama and art, and traveled throughout Mexico and Guatemala studying Indian folk art. She now lives in Hawaii with her talented family (husband Don and son Bruce, who have both collaborated with Audrey by illustrating some of her books).