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The Tree and the River

"Beautiful and engrossing look at man’s impact on the earth"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Prize winning author Becker is known as a master of the wordless picture book – and this latest volume is no exception. It is a series of time lapse images of the life in a valley on the banks of a long and winding river. It is not set in any particular country – and takes architectural styles from an amalgamation of different times and countries – thus it is relevant to everyone.

Mankind’s advances are reflected in the amount of building, growing industries, and enmities between neighbouring towns. The development of urban sprawl in other words, but depicted in such detailed, and to start with, entirely beautiful spreads that we are beguiled. As the book progresses, we see the damage and the destruction that man and nature can inflict as they are abused and ignored in search of ‘progress’.

The illustrations are so detailed the reader can spend a long time looking at each spread, noting the good and the bad changes, seeing the effect these changes have on the tree that grows in the crook of a river bend. Until finally the tree seems wrecked with the civilisation that stood around it. That is, until we see one tiny acorn from our dying tree fall into the river, travel downstream a short way and find fertile ground in which to bury itself and the cycle of growth and recovery can start again.

The river and trees are the witness to the folly of man – but also the witness to the new birth and growth. An ultimately uplifting look at what we are doing to our world – to make us pause and think. A spectacular read that will thrill readers of 5 to 95 equally.

Tricia Adams

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