Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Last Tree - a bookwrap

We are blessed to live in a world where beautiful plants and trees are green, lush and just a given for us.  Think of what it would be like if that was not the case... if our world was a concrete jungle, where just a few blades of grass were an oddity.  Today's featured book talks about a precious treasure... a tender young sapling found in the midst of a sterile grey mass of buildings, high walls and endless roadways. Can the infant tree somehow survive and grow to its full potential all on its own or will its current environment be its demise? 


Authored by Ingrid Chabbert and Illustrated by Guridi

Ages 3-8

Unwrapping some illustrations for you to peek at...

About the book...

When the boy was little and oftentimes bored his dad told him stories about the world when he was young.  Dad's favourite story by far was how he used to roll around in the grass with his best friend, enjoying cartwheels, leapfrog, and kite-flying as the grass tickled his legs.  How different the boy's life is from his dad's.  His world is ceaseless paved roads, massive walls and ugly concrete buildings everywhere, although the bright spot is that he does have a best friend too, named Gus.

Gus comes to find him one day and shares a secret.  Together they hop on their bikes to uncover that secret making it into a reality.  The friends pedal very far to the outskirts of the city. When they reach their destination Gus shows the boy a fragile, struggling sapling that's growing behind a crumbling wall... the first tree that the boy has ever seen.

"It's so beautiful!" I whispered.
"It's the first one I've seen."

"Do you think it's the last tree?"

The boy is totally mesermized by the little tree's vulnerability and beauty.  He makes up his mind then and there to protect it and  replant it somewhere safe so it can thrive and grow to its full potential.   Can he actually do it?  Where will he do it?  Will their secret be exposed and the very life of that little tree be sacrificed and snuffed out?  Oh my!

This book is simple, the pictures stark with just the perfect injections of colour to enhance the narrative, and the message is very, very powerful.  It is wonderful to read a picture book that is such a strong advocate of preserving and appreciating the nature that surrounds us and that we simply take for granted.  The book opens up wonderful opportunities to discuss attitudes and abilities that will make a difference regarding our forests, parks and our many other God-given natural resources.  I highly recommend this book. 

About the author...

Born in 1978 in the verdant Aveyron, Ingrid Chabbert never left the south so dear to her heart ... Rodez, Albi, Toulouse and now the ramparts of Carcassonne. She has been writing since her adolescence but has only dared to read what comes out of her pen for a few months. His very first youth album was born in September 2010.

About the illustrator...

Guridi graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Seville, Spain; since then he has worked professionally in all fields of image, painting, printing, design and advertising. In 1995 he began specializing on graphic arts, institutional, advertising and multimedia. In 2010 His work focused on children's illustration books, posters for campaigns on cultural theater, dance and puppetry. He has taught workshops on illustration and creativity in Bilbao, Pontevedra, Granada, Madrid, Barcelona and Valladolid. Guridi has published more than thirty children’s books, which have been translated in more than nine languages. He obtained the First Prize for the Seventh “Encontro Internacional de Ilustração de S. João da Madeira” in 2014. In 2015 he was awarded with the Best Illustrated Book Award for his book “El Rebaño”.  He has also been selected for several awards such as: Gremio de Libreros de Madrid and Premio Plastilina & Bloggers for his Illustration Trajectory, among others. Guridi’s work is powerful and evocative; it plays with colors and textures creating imaginary worlds inspired by the magic of nature. To see more of his work, visit: http://guridi.blogspot.com/

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