Would You Come Too?
Liz Garton Scanlon, illus. by Diana Sudyka. Beach Lane, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5206-0
A day in the forest generates a oneness with nature in this rhyming paean with distinctive, polished verse. Opening with the refrain “If we were,” meandering lines envisage what it would be like to be the wind, a pond, tadpoles, a spring, and so on. Employing watercolor gouache and digital art, the illustrations interpret “we” as beginning with two friends before gradually expanding to other playmates. Over the course of a leisurely hike, the children, portrayed with varying skin tones, swim among fish, make twig boats, build a fort, climb trees, and more. While most pages feature realistic depictions, images sometimes turn to fancy, as in a largely green spread of the kids reaching upward like plants (“If we were seeds we’d be hopeful,/ reaching for water and light”). When night arrives, swirls and stars provide an ideal, dreamy close to what Garton Scanlon and Sudyka present as an idyllic experience of the wild. Ages up to 8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2022