Root, Phyllis. Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Big Momma Makes the World. (New York : Candlewick Press, 2002.) ill.
ISBN: 0763611328

This wonderful, adorable children's book cannot be classified as a pagan book, but it is pagan-friendly. (Lest Christians shun it or Dianics recieve a rude shock, I must start by pointing out that the story is loosely based on the Book of Genesis, but with a female God.)

In seven days, a warm, loving and large Big Momma, with a baby on her hip (and laundry piling up), creates the world. Periodically, she surveys her creation and says "That's good. That's real good." Big Momma is barefoot, apron-wearing, cookie baking; her directions to the elements of creation such as light, dark, earth, sun and stars are colloquial but authoritative: "Light," says Big Momma. "And you'd better believe there was light."  She creates human beings in order to be able to sit on the front porch and swap stories with them; when she takes her day of rest, she periodically looks down to humans and says "Better straighten up."

The rhythm of the text makes it easy and fun to read aloud and the rotund, pastel-colored illustrations grab the eye (though some are better than others). An excellent choice for reading aloud in mixed groups of kids.

According to the author, the story grew out of her own children's comments and the stories they made up about the origins of landscape features as they travelled through the Southwest: "God and a baby were in lots of the stories." While I don't want to impute any particular religious beliefs to the author, the books certainly captures a lot about my personal approach to the Goddess!


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