Debut author Yap-Stewart’s picture book, featuring paintings by Prytula (Happy Papas, 2018), explores a friendship between two very different plants.
A sprig of moss and a sapling are best friends who live next to each other on “an old forgotten trail on Storm King Mountain.” As time goes by, Little Tree grows much taller than Little Moss, becoming Big Tree. Still, the two plants keep their friendship intact. With the help of some animal pals, they exchange daily letters and share interesting sights they see. When a winter storm hits, though, Big Tree is knocked to the ground. After it complains of the cold, Little Moss promises to cover it, sheltering it from winter’s chill. Yap-Stewart’s story is a sweet and simple one. The text is easy to read but nicely lyrical: “Then one day, a rumble and crash. A winter storm was brewing.” However, the line “They tried to untangle the glowing Morse Code of the fireflies” may go over youngsters’ heads. Another potentially perplexing element is the fact that although Little Moss and Little/Big Tree laugh, write letters, and talk, the accompanying pictures don’t portray them anthropomorphically. Still, Prytula’s painted illustrations are fantastic, rendering realistic, incredibly detailed nature scenes with swirls of color and texture. The animal illustrations emphasize the text’s emotive elements.
A thoughtful and beautifully illustrated nature story.