Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol

tr. from Spanish by Dana Goldberg. illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez. 24p. Children's Bk. Pr. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780892392940.
PreS-Gr 2—This bilingual story is an anthem to the innate strength and individuality of children and trees. As a tree is nurtured so is a child. Both begin as seeds striving for expression as they break free and reach for the sky: "I dream/I am reaching/Dreaming and reaching/Reaching and dreaming." Double-page spreads in watercolor, ink, and colored pencil are bright and whimsical featuring pink clouds and curlicue stars. The children depicted reflect the diversity of humanity, just as the different species of trees reflect the natural world of which they are an essential part. The text is slight but lyrical and reads well both in English and in Spanish. Many of the children are portrayed in variations of the yoga tree pose—providing an opportunity for inquisitive readers to ask questions in regards to yoga and its practice. Gonzalez's art and text invite reader participation on multiple levels, thereby appealing to a wider audience.—Mary Margaret Mercado, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ
A young boy imagines himself as a tree and muses that despite growing in different places, all trees have things in common. Although the poem's English text has a pleasantly gentle flow marked by rhyme and alliteration, the Spanish translation feels more stilted. Gonzalez blends watercolors, inks, and colored pencils to create soft-toned art that matches the soothing subject matter.

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