A woman shares the enlightening lessons she gathers from a stately tree in this debut picture book.
In this first-person account, the narrator describes a tree she finds while walking through a forest. Inspired by the tree’s tall, remarkable appearance, she rests her feet on its roots and caresses its moss. Suddenly, she hears the tree’s “voice” (which is actually not coming from the tree but “inside my heart”). The “voice” offers motivating, sometimes-rhyming sentiments. The narrator also relates the tree’s life lessons. For example, like the tree in autumn, readers can learn to drop what they “no longer need.” Valentine offers some nice metaphors (the tree “climbed and stretched up to the sky”). But several of the near-rhymes are awkward (“Feel the moss / it’s soft and thick / and comforts you / when you sit” and “Some days, like bark / are rough and hard / you’ll wish for moss / with all your heart”). Although the book’s subtitle announces the tale is “for all ages,” some philosophical concepts here skew toward an adult sensibility: “When leaves fall / Don’t mourn the loss.” Additionally, an adult narrator is atypical for the genre. The author’s illustrations are cartoonish photographs with an almost psychedelic appearance. They often feature vivid, close-up details of the tree and forest, and portraits of the white narrator.
A highly personal tale for nature and poetry fans.