Up in the Tree
Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press, 2006, 1978
The author of one of my favorite all-time books, The Handmaid’s Tale, wrote a children’s picture book in the 1970s. When it was published in Canada, children’s picture books weren’t considered profitable. So Atwood wrote, illustrated and even hand-lettered the book; and because it was expensive, only three colors were used on the illustrations – blue, red, and a brownish color, a blue/red combo. It is charming and old-fashioned, but a delight to read.
Two children ‘live’ in a tree and love it. One day a pair of beavers come by and chew up their ladder and they have no way of getting down. They are frightened until a friend shows up to help them out of the tree. Of course, being fickle humans, they soon want back UP in the Tree; and, being clever children, they find a way to get back UP into the tree.
Rating: 3 out of 5 paws
You Nest Here With Me
Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Boyds Mill Press, an Imprint of Highlights, 2015
This is a lovely picture book perfect for nap or bed time reading. The gentle cadence of the rhyme will surely make any restless child feel drowsy. But it is also a book of reassurance for children who feel unsettled about their home and about who will look after them. And, in the process of reading, the reader will learn about different kinds of birds and their nests. The illustrations are softly drawn and colored, mostly in cool blues and warm greens – soothing colors. But because this book is thematically about rest and comfort, there is only a splash of red, and orange-red (the colors of activity). The overall feeling of this quiet book is calm.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws
Reviewer of both books: Simon