Early mornings at “the cabin up North” hold a special place in many of our Minnesotan hearts. For Minnesota author Mary Casanova, the cabin was on an island accessed by fishing boat, and a treasured part of her upbringing in a family with 10 children.
“I loved waiting at a boat landing for my grandpa to ferry us to the cabin,” she says. “During my time there, my senses were on high alert: pine-scented air, the haunting cry of loons, blueberry pancakes made from berries we'd gathered in pails, and jumping into the cool water. Everything about my time at the cabin was magical.”
Casanova’s tale of morning in the North Woods is a recreation of those sensory memories, from the “wuff-wuffing” of mallards’ wings, to stately stands of pines along the shore, to being stirred awake by the “dee, dee, dee” of chickadees and the smell of berry pancakes drizzled with maple syrup.
Illustrator Nick Wroblewski, who grew up
in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, uses a series of woodcuts to bring the story to life. “I wanted to build a visual narrative that was partially inspired by an era in which all images were made by hand. Woodcuts have a tactile nature that enriches the depth of the overall feel of the imagery,” Wroblewski says.
Casanova hopes the book will spark in readers a sense of wonder for the natural world. “In a time of media and gadgets, I hope it inspires parents and kids to turn off technology and head outdoors,” she says. “Even better, head north to a cabin or to go camping.”
Twist our arms. We’ll see you there.