cover image The Wind and the Trees

The Wind and the Trees

Todd Stewart. Owlkids, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77147-433-7

This quietly striking debut features a pine sapling in conversation with an elder tree. Alternating pages center each tree in vibrant, fantastically colored silk-screened pages; text above each indicates their respective lines of dialogue. As the years pass, the naive sapling learns from the more mature tree. While the constantly blowing wind “pulls and shapes” the trees, stretching their roots, drying them out, and breaking them apart, it also serves numerous positive uses: disseminating seeds, strengthening the trees’ roots and bark, and carrying “messages and signals to other trees in the forest.” But the years also bring inversely prosperous appearances for each tree, culminating in a storm that changes everything. This spare, contemplative picture book focuses on a compassionate intergenerational relationship, transcending scientific instruction to offer a metaphysical musing on life and death. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)