Beyond the Book: At the Mountain’s Base

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell and Weshoyot Alvitre
This book was provided by Penguin Random House and Penguin Young Readers for review. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.

Book Summary

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell and Weshoyot Alvitre is a beautiful poem that shares the story of an intergenerational Native American family missing a loved one who is a pilot in the war. The family lives in a cabin at the mountain’s base where traditions, such as weaving cooking, and singing, keep them close. Memories of those same traditions fuel the pilot, a Native woman, as she prays for peace and the end of the war so she can return home. The author’s note at the end shares more details on the contribution of Native women to the military.

Age:

4 – 8 years

Pre-reading activity:

Discuss what you see on the cover of the book and ask your little one to predict what the story may be about. Have a discussion about your family’s traditions.

During the story:

Have your little one predict the text based on the illustrations. Provide definitions and connections for any of the target vocabulary words listed below that may be unfamiliar. Ask questions throughout the story to help your child comprehend what’s being read. Have your child repeat unfamiliar words.

Example Questions:

  • Where is the cabin located?
  • Can you think of a food that is savory?
  • What does grandma like to spend her time doing?
  • Why is the family worried about the pilot?
  • Tell me how you would feel if you had a loved one who was away fighting in a war.
  • Have you ever felt worried before?

Target Vocabulary

the bottom or lowest part of something
a small house made of wood
comfortable and warm place
having a pleasant taste or smell

to make something by crossing pieces of thread or cloth over and under each other

to think about problems or fears

to give your attention to or to care for someone or something
requiring a lot of time, attention, and effort

asking for something in a serious and emotional way

Post-reading:

After reading, look back at the cover and ask your child about the importance of the strands of yarn to the story. Have your little one re-read the book in their own words using the illustrations. Discuss a time where you or your child missed a loved one who was away.

Activity:

Paper Weaving

Paper weaving is a great task to target fine motor skills and the ability to follow directions in young children. Here are several paper weaving crafts we are looking forward to trying:

Many thanks to Penguin Random House and Penguin Young Readers for providing us with a copy of At the Mountain’s Base. It is available now on Amazon and everywhere books can be purchased!

Author & Illustrator Bios

Traci Sorell writes fiction and nonfiction books, as well as poems for children. Her debut nonfiction picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (Charlesbridge Publishing) is a Junior Library Guild selection. Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma where her tribe is located.

Weshoyot Alvitre is a comic book artist and illustrator. She’s most recently worked as art director for the video game When Rivers Were Trails and illustrator on the graphic novelRedrawing History with the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the Eisner Award for Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream and Prism Award for Hummingbird Boys in Moonshot Volume 2. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and two children.

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