December 11 – International Mountain Day

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About the Holiday

Mountains are majestic! Towering over the landscape, they leave us awestruck with their beauty and mystery. Supporting unique wildlife, providing challenging personal achievement, and inspiring countless works of art, the mountains of the world received their own United Nations-sponsored holiday in 2003. Established so that we remember and honor the importance of mountains to the environment and cultures in which they’re found and to the world at large, International Mountain Day is a celebration we can all support.

She’ll Be Coming UP the Mountain

Written by Kim Norman | Illustrated by Liza Woodruff

 

Moose and her pals are sprucing up the place in anticipation of Polar Bear’s return home. They know that “she’ll be coming up the mountain when she comes,” and are sure “She’ll enjoy our frozen fountain when she comes.” In addition to sweeping and dusting, the crew are planning a special welcome, and can’t wait for her arrival because “when she gets here she’ll discover / just how much we really love her / in a banner strung along the cabin wall.”

It seems that even though Polar Bear was away for a long time, no one forgot her. During her absence her friends sent her poems and hand-knitted sweaters, and now that she is coming back even the narwhals and gulls will come to cheer. Even if their “teeth begin to chatter / not a bit of it will matter when she comes.” Then they’ll throw “an arctic party when she comes. / We’ll play music, tapping icicles and drums. / Everybody will be clapping / while the caribou is rapping. / Not a creature will be napping when she comes.”

And, boy, do these guys know how to plan a homecoming! Out in the bay the kayakers will be paddling in formation, the whales will be spouting, and everyone else will be shouting when they see Polar Bear. There will be gifts galore, “high ones, twos, and fives,” a daring ski-slope salute, and plenty of “cheesy” pictures to document it all. As the moment arrives the anxious friends send out a message to which Polar Bear instantly sends an intriguing reply that they that they won’t believe their eyes. Before the waiting group can decide whether to “send our fastest skier, / who will be the first to see her, / and can tell us what will be her big surprise?,” they hear snuffling in the snow. Then suddenly over a snowbank they see her! They cheer and run to meet her and then they all tumble into the house—Polar Bear and her cubs!

Kim Norman has taken the buoyant song “She’ll Be Coming ‘round the Mountain When She Comes” and turned it into a joyful tribute to friendship that will have kids tapping their toes and bouncing along. The sweet story, strict rhythm, and well-known rhyme scheme allow for a mountain of laughs as the welcome-home party grows for the return of a favorite friend. Norman infuses her story with so many details and such enthusiasm that readers can’t help but get excited too. The final revelation that Polar Bear is bringing a surprise will have kids cheering along when they discover Polar Bear has new cubs.

Liza Woodruff’s vibrant illustrations exuberantly depict the preparations and plans the friends have for Polar Bear’s return. Kids will love lingering over Woodruff’s brightly colored and action-packed pages to catch all the details of the coming party. The animals’ camaraderie as they clean together, help deer knit a sweater, practice their welcome activities and especially imagine being together again is heartfelt and infectious. Readers will be glad they too are standing on the front porch looking for the first sight of Polar Bear and are invited inside the cozy cabin for the surprise party.

She’ll Be Coming UP the Mountain is a book full of fun that you’ll probably find yourself singing instead of reading—much to everyone’s delight! For boisterous story times, as a take-along on vacations, or for any time when happiness is the order of the day, this book is a perfect addition to kids’ bookshelves.

Ages 3 – 8

Sterling Children’s Books, 2016 | ISBN 978-1454916109

To learn more about Kim Norman and her other books as well as find fun activities, visit her website!

Discover a portfolio of artwork by Liza Woodruff on her website!

International Mountain Day Activity

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Mountain Landscape Coloring Page

 

Grab your pencils and crayons and create a beautiful scene with this printable Mountain Landscape Coloring Page.

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