A parable on the importance of imagination, told in stunning silhouettes.
A young boy sits alone under a tree, with no friends or toys. One day he finds a stick under the tree, and when he picks it up, he immediately becomes a pirate and the stick becomes his sword. He transforms into many different imaginative possibilities. The stick has words carved on it: “IMAGiNATION / lives in you. / It’s the FIRE / in all you do. / Use it well, and / you can be / ANYTHiNG / you want / to be.” As the boy grows up, he takes those words to heart. When he is finally an old man, he sits down at the park near the original tree he used to sit under so long ago. He notices a little girl, with no friends or toys. It is time for the stick to help someone else. An immediate comparison to The Giving Tree (1964) springs to mind as a result of the arboreal nature of both tales, but this one is not as divisive. Intricately cut scenes of black, with blazing backgrounds of oranges and purples, invite close inspection and awe. Careful readers might even spot the stick on the very first page.
What could come across as saccharine is given weight and beauty by both art and heart. (Picture book. 4-8)