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What Do You Know?

2021
Author(s)
Ariana Fields
Publisher
Enchanted Lion Books

“Authors and sisters Girmay and Fields give voice to a variety of beings, imagining love itself asking, ‘What do you know?’ and listening carefully to the response. The question is asked of a well, bees, and a forest, among other entities. ‘When love comes to the farmers and asks,/ What do you know,’ one spread reads, a farmer responds: ‘I know work and weather/ and the hands of the sun and the rain.’ In softly tinted art with the feel of sketchbook pages, a brown-skinned farmer carries heavy baskets across her shoulders. … Fields draws as if setting down memories or dreams, with forms that repeat: people and birds with downcast gazes, bears with great claws, landscapes that undulate like ocean waves. Employing incantatory lines that conjure flame-like warmth and reverence, Girmay and Fields acknowledge the kind of knowing that’s older than books.“ —Publishers Weekly

What do you know?” Love asks this of honeybees, a historian, fruit bats, a farmer, and a rock. With each poetic, wholly distinctive response to Love’s question, one thing is consistently reaffirmed—the unique wisdom possessed by all that is alive. This respect for the singular contributions we each can make was deeply integral to the creation process of this book itself. A collaboration between two sisters, both of whom wrote it, one of whom illustrated it, this illustrated poem holds space for mystery, wonder, and surprise, and for the elaboration of more questions through which to see and feel the world.