FICTION

Trees

illus. by Lemniscates. 40p. Candlewick. Mar. 2017. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763690014.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1—A beautiful introduction to the many ways trees enrich our world. The minimal text begins with the cycle of the seasons and continues through the ways that trees and humans affect each other's environments. Most spreads contain a single sentence, the information presented ranging from fairly straightforward facts such as, "Trees provide homes to many," to statements such as, "Trees use their roots to communicate and to help one another," which touch on complex processes that may require further explanation. A small black bird on each spread establishes continuity and is a visual link among concepts. Near the end, a white-skinned child appears, hugging a tree, enjoying its shade, and, finally, planting seeds that sprout into a young seedling, a symbol of hope for the future. Considering the narrow topic, young audiences will find much to admire in Lemniscates's digital images. Depicting bare winter branches, bright flowers sprouting in spring, and summer trees lush and round in their fullness, the art offers plenty of visual variety and interest. Rich coloring and textures reminiscent of ink and watercolor create a hand-painted feel, elevating the simple narrative.
VERDICT A solid family read-aloud or a conservation primer for preschoolers. The striking illustrations and accessible information make this a first purchase.

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