Elegant illustrations and a subtle, heartwarming environmental message elevate this picture book above the plethora of more conventional nature books for young children.
Created by the Barcelona collective Lemniscates, it has a distinctive style similar to that of the group’s iPad apps. The double-page spreads are illustrated in textural mixed media, with an exquisitely controlled use of color and space. A white child is seen interacting with trees in both rural and urban settings, and many birds are shown enjoying the trees’ bounty of leaves, seeds, and fruit and benefiting from their shelter. Trees are viewed with gentle anthropomorphism; they sleep in winter, wake up in spring; they “have their heads in the clouds / and their feet on the ground.” They “use their roots to communicate and to help one another.” The environmental message is revealed in the final spreads: “Trees cannot change their place in the world. So they are patient and learn to live where they are.” Their value as providers of shelter, shade, clean air, and food reinforces the message of the book: that they are “marvelous beings” and need to be appreciated.
This peaceful and attractive offering will encourage young children and their caregivers to take a new look at a part of the landscape often taken for granted. (Picture book. 3-5)