Saturday, February 17, 2024

Today's read... Tree Spirits by Louise Wannier

Today's read heads into the direction of creativity and imagination. It was presented to me as an unique, nonfiction read...and I'm expecting it to be a beautiful one, too. Using photographs, it should invite young readers to look beyond what they see and let their fantasy weave a slightly new perspective. I'm looking forward to seeing what exciting secrets it holds.

written and photographed by Louise Wannier
Illustrations by April Tatiana Jackson
Red Hen Press
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8
56 pages
ages 3 to 8

What do you see when you look up at this tree?" TREE SPIRITS is a book written in rhyme which encourages children to develop their imagination, creativity and emotional intelligence. "How do you imagine they/he/she is feeling today?" For parents and grandparents and friends and family it is a fun book to read with the children in their lives. It includes an interactive drawing section. 



Mixing imagination with the surrounding world invites to dreams and seeing beyond the obvious.

Creativity and imagination drive this read forward through photographs and rhymed text. The author has taken colorful photographs of unique knots, twists, and marks on trees and encourages readers to view them with a touch of fantasy in mind. The text not only gives hints but exposes what the artist, April Tatiana Jackson, sees—an elephant or a rabbit? The entire photograph, then, appears again, but this time with an outline of the imagined creature in red ink overlaying the tree. It even invites readers to discover their own images, too.

The text fits well to the mid and upper end of the age group and flows smoothly with the rhymes. It drops little hints with a literary atmosphere before exposing the artist's vision. It is well done but could be a bit more concise. But then, I have a feeling that it will be the adults who are more taken by the text than the younger readers, since these will be concentrating on the photos and trying to discover the creature 'hidden' inside.

The photographs are well done and use very unique growths on the trees to simple knots (if these can be considered simple). While some of the creatures are easy to see, others do need the help of the red lines afterwards. But either way, young readers are sure to discover their own images, too...and that is the entire point of this read. It sparks imagination and will have young readers viewing the world around them with different eyes. This book would also work well in classroom, group, or homeschooling settings to introduce a project. 

It's a lovely way to exercise creativity and will inspire readers, both young and old.

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