cover image The Tree in the Wood

The Tree in the Wood

Christopher Manson. NorthSouth, $14.88 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-55858-193-7

Manson's stunning woodcuts lift this familiar cumulative folksong (``And the green grass grew all around, all around, and the green grass grew all around'') to fine art status. His rich, subtle, earth-toned palette, reminiscent of turn-of-the-century picture books yet timeless, gives this work a handmade feel, as if each page had been freshly inked. As in his earlier A Farmyard Song (another cumulative rhyme folksong), Manson makes proficient use of borders; here, however, they are more elaborate, with the look of broad, densely-embroidered ribbons embracing both text and the accompanying illustration. The song's message of the endless circle of life and the continuity of all things is as lovely as the elegant artwork. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)