cover image The Mango Tree (La mata de mango)

The Mango Tree (La mata de mango)

Edel Rodriguez. Abrams, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4586-7

Wielding visual power in this wordless picture book, Rodriguez renders a story of a childhood friendship enacted in the branches of a mango tree. Across a wide ocean landscape, an island rises dominated by the tree. Subsequent images close in on a forest and village, and then the tree itself, planted in a container, in which two children—one brown-skinned, one pale-skinned—spend their days. From flying kites to maintaining a dovecote, the two are inseparable, until a storm carries one—clinging to the contained mango tree—away to a new land. There, amid blue-skinned human figures, the child plants the lone mango left on the branches. Bold graphic images, created with a combination of oil-based printing inks, sumi ink, and digital media, employ a tightly controlled palette and woodblock textures. An author’s note, provided in both English and Spanish, concludes. Ages 4–8. (June)