Hudson’s debut children’s book tells a magical story about the origin of the world.
In this gentle, dreamy creation story, a little plant imagined herself into existence one day. Then she dreamed up a circle—the first shape. That shape became the planet on which she planted herself. And from there, she kept dreaming: the sky, snowflakes, jellyfish, dancing flowers, toadstools, bumblebees, poppies and everything else that’s magical in the world. Hudson infuses this sweet-natured children’s book with quiet humor. The jellyfish, for example, are extraterrestrial beings who floated down from a world where everything is made of plastic bags. They speak a foreign language, but the wise seaweeds they live with have learned to make out certain sentences such as, “These long tendrils aren’t dangerous, really!” But all is not sweetness and light in the little dreaming plant’s world: She finds herself in a “strange mood” one day and dreams up poisonous nightshade that almost puts an end to her and her nascent world. Hudson’s two dozen illustrations are luminous collages: Deeply colored, richly layered and semiabstract, they call to mind a curious combination of batik cloth and the illuminations of medieval monks. The book doesn’t fill an obvious niche; it’s a read-aloud book that may be a little too long to get through in one sitting, and at times, its language of magic feels a little forced. It almost seems to come from another time: There’s the sense of wonder you find in The Little Prince, the humor of the Just So Stories, a bit of otherworldliness from the The Water-Babies and a touch of the late children’s book author Tasha Tudor’s elevated diction and unhurried storytelling. It’s easy to imagine an adult someday looking back and attributing her sense of wonder and creativity to this quirky little book from her childhood.
A book that will charm dreamy children and spark questions and imaginative theories about where we all came from.