Call Me Tree / Llámame Árbol
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This bilingual story is an anthem to the innate strength and individuality of children and trees. As a tree is nurtured so is a child. Both begin as seeds striving for expression as they break free and reach for the sky: "I dream/I am reaching/Dreaming and reaching/Reaching and dreaming." Double-page spreads in watercolor, ink, and colored pencil are bright and whimsical featuring pink clouds and curlicue stars. The children depicted reflect the diversity of humanity, just as the different species of trees reflect the natural world of which they are an essential part. The text is slight but lyrical and reads well both in English and in Spanish. Many of the children are portrayed in variations of the yoga tree pose--providing an opportunity for inquisitive readers to ask questions in regards to yoga and its practice. Gonzalez's art and text invite reader participation on multiple levels, thereby appealing to a wider audience--School Library Journal "School Library Journal "
This pastoral celebration of trees employs lyrical language (in both English and Spanish) that urges children to emulate saplings by growing free and standing tall in the world. "I begin / Within / The deep / dark / earth / A seed / A tree / Free to be free." Later, when more mature, the children (or trees) observe: "A tree I am / a tree I stand / On a sidewalk / On a mountain / By a river or road." Finally, a young boy concludes, "Call me tree / Because / I am tall / I am strong / And like a tree / I am free." The author and illustrator of I Know the River Loves Me / Yo s? que el r?o me ama (2009) here offers vibrantly hued illustrations depicting diverse children mimicking trees by forming their bodies into various yoga positions. The art has a magically realistic feel, as children become one with the roots, trunks, and branches of their trees. This makes a good choice for story hour dramatizations, particularly for Arbor Day or the Jewish festival of Tu B'shvat.--Booklist Magazine "Booklist Magazine "
The author ofI Know the River Loves Me / Yo sé que el río me ama(2009) offers a bilingual picture book that presents the triumphant journey from seed to tree, conveying a deep appreciation for nature. A seed, depicted as a little boy, nestles deep underground. He wakes up and grows into a strong tree, free yet rooted. When he awakens, he sees other trees, presented on the page as an array of ethnically diverse children, standing and moving in their own ways. The text is brief, lyrical, and equally expressive in both the English and Spanish. "Some sing songs / Some sing along / All trees have roots / All trees belong // Unos cantan canciones / Otros se unen al coro / Todos los árboles tienen raíces / Todos los árboles tienen un lugar." Reading the text aloud invites the incorporation of creative movement, such as yoga or dance, and is sure to engage younger and older children alike. Visionary illustrations stretch vibrant colors across the pages, with details that encourage readers to sit with the book and explore. Most notably, the author/illustrator excels at using few words to evoke grand imagery, relaying a powerful message to children: We are all our own trees--equal, vital and free. An exquisitely crafted call to honor ourselves, one another and the natural world.--Kirkus Reviews "Kirkus Reviews "