Saturday, May 20, 2017

Heart of the Forest: Tree (A Peek-Through Picture Book) by Britta Teckentrup

In the forest all is still

Gripped by winter's icy chill.

Owl waits, watching in a tree.

No one sees as much as he.

But there's not so much to see in the icy grip of winter. Evergreens huddle, wearing a cap of snow, and foxes tiptoe to and fro.

But soon green shoots appear here and there, peeping above the melting show, and the Owl knows that spring is coming, even before the rabbits venture out of their holes, alert for the frisky foxes.

Spring comes with its magic, covering the forest with a cloak of green.  Birds sing and build nests. The apple tree blooms.

And then summer comes. Little birds fledge. Apples appear and ripen from green to rosy red. Bunnies grow bigger, and the birdies fly all across the sky.

Then trees change color and fall comes sneaking in.

Now it's cooler all around.

Apples tumble to the ground

And at last the leaves fall from the apple tree, too, and once more the tree, with its steadfast owl on guard, watches the season cycle into winter, as snow again piles high about its roots.

All the while the owl is the center of attention, as from his hole in the big tree, he watches the days come and go along with the seasons, in Britta Teckentrup's Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book (Doubleday Books, 2016). With a die-cut home for the feathered sentinel centered in the tree on the cover, the owl appears in the hole in his tree on each page to chronicle the changes in the seasons as they pass. Each animal has his own die-cut opening to reveal his seasonal moves. With highly stylized illustrations, a basic tree with a scattering of leaves and the simple shapes of animals through the cycle of the year, this book is perfect for preschool introduction to the passage of the seasons. Says Kirkus Reviews, "Teckentrup's stylized block-print artwork focuses reader's eyes on the myriad details of the unfolding forest scenes."

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