Review: Call Me Tree by Maya Christina Gonzalez

call me tree

Call Me Tree: lámame árbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Released November 1, 2014.

This poetic picture book combines a celebration of trees with one of human diversity.  A boy starts to grow under the earth, reaching his arm up to break the surface of the ground.  His arm and fingers becomes a trunk and branches and soon he too is up in the air next to his tree.  Just as trees have freedom, so does he.  Just as each tree is different from another, he is different from the other people too.  Yet they all have roots and they all belong on the earth and in the world.

This very simple book is written like a free verse poem in both English and Spanish, closely tying biodiversity to human diversity in a clever way.  The connection of humans and trees is beautifully shown as well, in a way that ties each person to a tree like them.  It’s a book that is radiant in its delight in our connection to nature and the way that nature’s diversity reflects on our own.

Gonzalez both wrote and illustrated this picture book.  Her illustrations are colorful with deep colors that leap on the page.  The characters on the page are bold and different, each with their own feel of exuberance or quiet contemplation or strength.  Along with each different child, there is a tree connected to them that equally reflects their personality.  It’s a very clever way to clearly tie humans to nature.

This book could serve as inspiration for children to draw their own personal trees that express themselves or it can be a lullaby to dreams of blue skies and green leaves.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from digital galley received from Edelweiss and Children’s Book Press.

Nominations for 2015 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

CILIP

The nominations for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced.  The Carnegie Medal is awarded for an outstanding book for children and young people.  The Kate Greenaway Medal is for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.  These awards from the UK can be seen as very similar to the Newbery and Caldecott Awards in the US. 

There are 91 books nominated for the 2015 Carnegie Medal and 71 nominated for the Greenaway Medal

2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Shortlists

Celebrating the role of Australian authors, the shortlists for the 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced.  Two of the shortlists are for teen and children’s fiction:

CHILDREN’S FICTION

Kissed by the Moon My Life as an Alphabet

Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester

My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg (published as The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee in the US)

Rules of Summer The Silver Button

Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Silver Button by Bob Graham

Song for a Scarlet Runner

Song for a Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt

 

YOUNG ADULT FICTION

The First Third Girl Defective The Incredible Here and Now

The First Third by Will Kostakis

Girl Defective by Simmone Howell

The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna

Life in Outer Space Pureheart

Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

Pureheart by Cassandra Golds