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At the Mountain's Base

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A family, separated by duty and distance, waits for a loved one to return home in this lyrical picture book celebrating the bonds of a Cherokee family and the bravery of history-making women pilots.

At the mountain's base sits a cabin under an old hickory tree. And in that cabin lives a family -- loving, weaving, cooking, and singing. The strength in their song sustains
Hardcover, 26 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Kokila
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
WHOA! Powerful and masterfully constructed.
Jillian Heise
Gorgeous! I am utterly enamored with this picture book from a Cherokee author and Tongva illustrator. Must buy for elementary school libraries.
Alex  Baugh
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"At the mountain's base
grows a hickory tree.
Beneath this sits a cabin."

And in this cabin lives a Cherokee military family. Watched by her grandchild, a worried grandmother weaves together red, gold, green, and black threads while sitting by an old wood burning stove where there is something warm and nourishing cooking in a well-worn pot. The women in the family sit with her and together they sing and worry, too. Over their shoulder, is a picture of a woman in military dress.

The family sings a
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those Seeking Children's Stories About Military Families and/or with a Cherokee Cultural Background
Cherokee author Traci Sorell, who made her picture-book debut last year with the lovely We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga , returns to the form in this poetic tribute to Native American veterans and military members. Her spare text follow the story of a family living in a cabin beneath a hickory tree, at the base of a mountain. A family where Grandma weaves and worries, thinking about the family member - her daughter, perhaps? - who is far away, flying an airplane for the war effort...

As her
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
In a cozy cabin under a hickory tree, a grandma sits and weaves. She also worries. Her family gathers around her, singing. Their song tells of a woman in a battle, flying in a plane, protecting and defending. Their song sings of a dream of peace too. The family gathers together, wishing for her return. Told in the beautiful simplicity of a single poem, the words and the weaving work together to create something very special.

By the author of We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, this book focuses on a
I needed more from the story-- better illustrations that weave in the family waiting at home, better connection to the family at home and the woman in the sky, more about the woman in the sky.

This only scratched the surface of what it's intention likely was so it was a good start but it feels like a draft and not the final product. I want to learn more from the story.
So lovely! Beautiful illustrations and a lovely, very minimal text that builds up and down to tell a story about a family. They are praying and waiting for a pilot, a fictionalized version of Ola Mildred Rexroat -- the only native woman to fly as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. The gouache, watercolor, and ink illustrations are gorgeous, and the artist does an amazing job of portraying both the natural world and the multi-generational family. The text is that ...more
Include in study of Veterans Day and biographies of native women.
Paul  Hankins
"The roots that ground us help us soar." (from the back jacket copy of AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE)

The author is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the illustrator is a Tongva/Scots-Gaelic comic book artist making AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE one more picture book written and illustrated by Indian writers and artists from which we we can draw and share with our readers.

Weshoyot Alvitre's artwork seems to leap out of her comic book artistry (this reviewer spent some time at the artist's website
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful poem and accompanying illustrations come together to form a bittersweet book honoring our Native American women veterans, who statistically serve at the highest rates. A Cherokee family prays and sings as they weave together, thinking of their loved one as she pilots a fighter plane, also interweaving the feelings of pride and anxiety as they await her homecoming. Tender and strong, At the Mountain's Base is a story of bravery and family bonds.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When war, a world war, strikes, the lives of families are paused. A new normal begins. Days and nights become all about waiting and hoping. As a child I knew the impact on my father and on my mother of him serving in World War II. I heard his stories. Pictures are adhered in a bulging scrapbook. Other items he wore on his uniform along with his dog tags are as treasured as the memories they represent. Serving in the military leaves a mark on everyone involved, away from home and at home.

A family is woven together in these heart-stopping illustrations by Weshoyot Alvitree as Traci Sorell tells a story of what binds the family. In poetic style, Traci first shows us the mountain's base where grows a hickory tree. Beneath sits a cabin, and in that cabin, a wood stove gives warmth as a family watches a grandma's weaving, all close together while they wait, wait, for the one member missing. She is a pilot off to serve, like many others from the Cherokee Nation. Our own groups, ...more
Abby Johnson
At the mountain's base waits a family, worrying and weaving, waiting for their daughter/sister/mother to come home safe from flying planes in a war. Though the illustrations are lovely, depicting a Cherokee family and utilizing woven strings to connect the family to their loved one serving, what blew me away was actually the author's note at the back of the book. It talks about Native American women serving in the US military and particularly mentions Millie Rexroat, an Oglala Lakota pilot and ...more
Love the circular theme of this children's picture book about a Cherokee family waiting at home at the base of a mountain for their loved to return from flying planes in a war. But I think the book causes readers to have a lot questions that are answered in the Author's Note at the end. I guess I wanted more of that material included in the actual book? This will take a lot of discussion at the end of it, which, to me, means it is for older children during a story time. Actually I could have ...more
La La
2.5 stars on the blog.

I loved the message of this story, but the illustrations are too drab for a picture book, and they look extremely amateurish. I was excited when I heard about this book with a Native American narrative, but I am majorly disappointed in the artwork.

I was approved for an eARC, via Edelweiss, in return for an honest review

Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful. I love the theme of weaving throughout this picture book as the narrative leads us from a Native family living in a cabin at the base of a mountain to another member of that family (a woman, no less!) piloting a plane in the service of her country. The endnote puts the story in historical context. Great perspective in the artwork.
I guess subconsciously I knew that Native Americans served for our country, but I never read anything about it specifically. The book focuses more on emotion and has an end note with some details, but anyone looking for more information should find further resources.
Anneke Alnatour
The illustrations are beautiful, the story was interesting and so was the back story. We had a great conversation after reading it, and reflected on the meanings of the beautiful drawings.

Not for younger kids though, I'd say more the 6 and up crowd.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A loving tribute to Native women who have served in the US Armed Forces and to their families as well. This short poem highlights the strength of women and family. There is also a little history lesson in the Author’s Note about the only Native woman who flew for the US in World War II.
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is great. We need a lot more Native rep in picture books so although the poem was a little thin for a picture book story and the artwork is not my favorite, I am very happy to have this as a title I can keep on file to recommend and add to book lists.
Ilse O'Brien
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lyrical story that honors Native American women who have served in the military. Some young readers may be confused until they read the author’s note at the end. But I didn’t know much about this topic and it inspired me to seek out more information about military women like Millie Rexroat.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A tribute to female Native women who served in the United States Armed Forces, whose families gave them support from home.

An author’s note talks about Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexroat, an Oglala Lakota pilot. She was the only Native woman serving in the WASPS in World War II.
Jenna Grodzicki
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and illustrated, this lyrical picture book tells the story of a Cherokee Air Force pilot and the family that is anxiously awaiting her return home. A must-have for classrooms and libraries.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Native American. War. See irc kbt notes
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely beautiful illustrations. I loved the cyclical text and I loved that this book highlights an important contribution to American history by native women.
not sure......
good but......
interesting concepts
facial expressions?
Edward Sullivan
A Cherokee family experiences anxiety and pride as they prays sings, and weave together, thinking of their loved one as she pilots a fighter plane and looking forward to her homecoming.
Reina Williams
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A sparsely written, moving, and beautifully illustrated picture book that tells a whole story in few words. Lovely.
Mary Lee
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful poem honoring all women who have served in the military, but especially Native women. An #ownvoices story.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The roots that ground us help us soar." At the Mountain's Base is a well thought out and deeply connected picture book. Well written and illustrated.
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Traci Sorell writes poems as well as fiction and nonfiction works for children and teens featuring contemporary characters and compelling biographies—the type of books she sought out in her school and public libraries as a child.

Traci’s debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, was awarded a 2019 Sibert Honor, a 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor and a 2019 Orbis