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The Perfect Tree (2015)
Running Press Kids
I found this to be a very beautiful, sweet story about a young boy's quest to find the perfect tree - though a bit sinister, a bit macabre, in the atmospheric-sense, which of course I liked. Chloe Bonfield enjoys silhouettes, and she employs them to great effect. The quest seemed epic indeed, and with each tree I felt I was being led to a different planet, a completely different environment.
The text makes it quite clear that Jack is not interested in hugging any trees. He has one mission and one mission only: to chop.
A perfect tree to hack! A perfect tree to stack.
But as he goes from to the next, he comes to realize that there are a great many other uses for trees. Trees can be used as shelters, as homes, as storehouses for the winter, as each forest creature he comes across explains and demonstrates until finally he declares:
"Every tree in the forest is perfect!"
The illustrations really transport the take elsewhere. Chloe is an illustrator and animator living in London, and this is her first picture book, published by Running Press right here in Philadelphia. Knowing now that she's an animator makes sense... I can easily imagine that silhouette scaling that textured and multi-layered mountain