The Way of the Willow Branch

Emery Bernhard, Author, Durga Bernhard, Author, Durga Bernhard, Illustrator Harcourt Children's Books $15 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-200844-4
Once again the Bernhards (Reindeer) prove that there is nothing nerdy about science. With a bright, gouache-and-colored-pencil folk art style, the Bernhards winsomely trace the path of a fallen willow branch. The branch is snatched up by a dog, who takes it to a boy, who throws it into a stream, where it begins a long metamorphosis into a piece of driftwood in a child's mobile. The wondrous, convoluted journey of the branch teaches much about the natural world, yet the tale feels more like an adventure story than a science lesson. The conclusion brings satisfying closure while perhaps inspiring further inquiry into the origins of everyday things: ""The boy's mother hangs the new mobile over his bed. `I wonder where this driftwood came from?' she asks."" Instructions for making a similar mobile out of seashells, wood, pinecones and such are also provided. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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