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March 9, 2018

The Little Tree by Muon Van

The Little Tree (Creston Boks, November 2015)
By Muon Van  (Author), JoAnn Adinolfi  (Illustrator)
Picture Book

Using a tree and her seed as metaphor, Van draws on her immigrant background to demonstrate a parent’s love for their child, even if it means setting them free.

A little tree is worried that the forest around her is depleting and wants a better life for her little seed. “Are trees this small everywhere?” she asks a brown bird and learns that there is a place “where trees grow a hundred feet tall” and “leaves are so thick, you can sit in the shade all day!” The little tree decides to toss her seed into the wind. Over the years, the little tree wonders what has become of her baby seed. “Is it strong and tall? Does it remember me at all?” When the brown bird returns, it tells her about a very special tree; perhaps that is her little seed? The little tree receives her answer when an elegant leaf twirls and shimmers right into her arms. Adinolfi expertly layers mixed media comprising colored pencils, goache, stamping and more to create texture and movement on the static page. Add vibrant colors in saturated hues and the story’s dreamlike environs come to life.

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