Life, personified by a mythical, orange creature that seems to have both wings and fur, tells about how it spends its time on Earth.
The orange creature has a simian face with ears and nose but no apparent mouth. This adds to its benign appearance. On the initial double-page spread, it sits atop dark, deliciously fertile ground, carefully touching one of the many and varied plants springing up. Life, the plants, and several woodland creatures are silhouetted against a soft, white sky. Life’s introduction: “I am Life. Just as Death is Death, I am Life. It’s me who sets everything in motion.” Every succeeding spread is equally beautiful in terms of both text and mixed-media illustrations. Most of Life’s comments deal with animal life, with an emphasis on humans. The text gently, poetically refers to differences in age spans and even features an amazing nod to Death as Life’s partner. Here, dark-blue–furred Death rides its bike alongside that of Life, as colorful kites stream behind them. Life reminds ethnically diverse people of the wonders of their bodies—it does not address disability—and it offers itself as balm in troubled times. Readers young and old will enjoy finding size-shifting Life on nearly every spread, and the language’s rhythm is pleasant for those not yet grasping all the life-related concepts.
A prettily packaged, accessible meditation. (Picture book. 5-9)