Waking the Mountain


4-8 years

Environmental Activism

Social-Emotional Learning





Marina Fonseca & Lisa Junius


Waking the Mountain follows a magical land that used to be lush and green, but isn’t any longer. Ethereal illustrations show a journey across many broken lands, and some humanoid figures that want to restore the landscape.

The story opens with Zura and her growing concerns for Milo, who has fallen ill because the dirt is filled with trash instead of plants. As they sleep in a cave, the pair awake to see that a mountain has awoken and is moved to help Zura and Milo. The fantastical plot mirrors actions that we can take ourselves here on earth. I like the artistic expressions in this book, I think the appeal to readers who aren’t engaged immediately by scientific texts is palpable. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a story like this before, and I’m really interested to see how implementing fantasy into conversations about climate justice will impact younger generations. A majority of the characters appear to be people of color, and they’re all given names, which I think is a lovely detail to have. One character named Aryn also uses a mobility device, but it’s not mentioned (I love this passive normalization!) within the text.

This book was kindly sent by the illustrator and published by Zoom Editions, but all opinions are my own. Both creators live in Europe, so Waking the Mountain might be a library purchase request along with any of your favorite independent bookshops.

Marina Fonseca

  • Marina Fonseca, M.A. in English Literature, specialized in fairy tales and fantasy literature, and is now an English teacher and writer. Her favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Alix E. Harrow, and Katherine Arden.

Lisa Junius

Lisa Junius is a multidisciplinary artist, illustrator and designer. She was born and raised in Luxembourg and graduated from Master of Arts (Fine Art) and Art Research from the University of Strasbourg in 2016.

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