Kyle Hughes-Odgers, One Thousand Trees, Fremantle Press, 3 July 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925164725
Deep in the heart of the city, Frankie dreams of a thousand trees.
From the first (and only) sentence, award-winning artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers takes young readers on a journey of exploration. As Frankie investigates her imaginary trees from all manner of perspectives – above, below, among, around, beside and beneath – the minimal text and striking illustrations in natural hues also draw readers into the depths of the forest.
This book gives readers a lot to think about. There’s the contrast between the cityscape and the forest as well as issues such as sustainability, conservation, our connection to nature, the constraints of urban living and (to quote the press release) the art of nature and nature of art.
Even the dedication encourages readers to ponder and appreciate the intrinsic value of trees.
To all the trees that have made the ultimate sacrifice for my work.
The story’s ending is subtly uplifting, with the first sentence repeated with a slightly different meaning this time, and an illustration showing plants starting to claim their own spaces in the city.
This book is a great resource for K-6; especially for Visual Arts.
Reviewed by Julie Murphy