The Tree and the River

The Tree and the River
Age Range
Release Date
March 14, 2023
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A spectacular time-lapse portrait of humankind—and our impact on the natural world—from a Caldecott Honor–winning master of the wordless form

In an alternate past—or possible future—a mighty tree stands on the banks of a winding river, bearing silent witness to the flow of time and change. A family farms the fertile valley. Soon, a village sprouts, and not long after, a town. Residents learn to harness the water, the wind, and the animals in order to survive and thrive. The growing population becomes ever more industrious and clever, bending nature itself to their will and their ambition: redirecting rivers, harvesting lumber, reshaping the land, even extending daylight itself. . . .

The Tree and the River is an epic time-lapse reimagining of human civilization from a master of the wordless form, and a thought-provoking meditation on the relationship between two mighty forces: nature and humankind.

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THE TREE AND THE RIVER is a thought-provoking children's picture book that utilizes the power of illustrations without words. It shows how humans can affect nature and things like trees and rivers. How they can stand tall when they're at their worst, yet we can still have a negative impact on their health. The illustrations are stunning with intricate details and vivid colors. Each page depicts a different time, whether it's past or future, with the same tree and river as a baseline. My daughter enjoyed this book because it's one that she can just take in without stressing over stumbling on words. Instead, it gets the gears in her mind turning and gives us things to discuss such as pollution and speculating on what the future might hold.

Final Verdict: I would recommend this picture book to younger children to stimulate their imagination and open their eyes to what may be going on in the world around them. It helps introduce self-awareness and environmental issues.
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