In the darkness of night, a forest reclaims a concrete city, to the delight of the animals and children.
With vibrant and engaging illustrations, this picture book sings the story of a paved parking lot returning to a paradise teeming with diverse people, plants, and animals. It begins with an illustration of distracted townspeople scurrying across gray streets on a summer evening. The children, full of wide-eyed wonder, notice the wind blowing in something new, represented as a little green dust devil. As the sun sets, bands of birds, bunnies, and beavers rendezvous on the outskirts of town, awaiting their opportunity. With logistical precision, seeds are dropped on rooftops and vacant lots, fountains are flooded, and the moon shines brightly on the saplings. In time-bending speed, the cement city gives way to fully bloomed flowers and tall trees. The morning sun brings a riot of colors and shapes, to the delight of all. Ghigna’s rhythmic and rhyming couplets narrate the miracle with the respect and drama of a professional bard. But the lack of tension and the muted nighttime colors create a gentle story, suitable for a bedtime read-aloud. The inevitability of nature, full of wonder and life, encourages readers to celebrate the greenery in their own surroundings.
The multicultural faces make this a good choice for preschool and early-elementary shelves, especially in settings that prize a connection to nature. (Picture book. 3-10)