It’s OK, Slow Lizard by Yeorim Yoon

Cover image for It’s OK, Slow Lizard.

It’s OK, Slow Lizard by Yeorim Yoon, illustrated by Jian Kim, translated by Chi-Young Kim (9781632062772)

Slow Lizard lives in the forest with Bird, Elephant, Rabbit and Monkey. He likes to take things slow, just like his name. So when Little Bird is fretting about not having enough time to get things done, Slow Lizard invites her to share some tea. When Elephant gets angry, Lizard asks him to look at the clouds together. When Rabbit is sad, Lizard sits with her until she feels better. Lizard shares a quiet book with Monkey when his pranks get out of control. When a storm threatens, the other friends display their strengths too, using their generosity, planning, cleverness and humor to get everyone home safely.

Using repeating structures, this picture book beautifully shows the power of slowing down and giving your emotions the ability to be felt and then to pass. Lizard demonstrates various approaches to handling frustration, anxiety and other qualities in your life, showing both the characters in the book and the reader these skills. Just as the book feels like it might end, Yoon also shows the positive qualities that the others characters have. This pivot in the story is particularly effective as it show that all of us have struggles and strengths within us.

Kim’s illustrations are full of fine details but will also work well with a group. The forest setting comes alive with fan-like flowers, dandelions, clover and many small plants. The illustrations also show the characters’ emotions clearly.

A perfect book to share along with some tea under the sky. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Yonder.

Trees by Tony Johnston

Cover image for Trees.

Trees by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Tiffany Bozic (9781534475175)

This picture book explores trees from their own point of view. Beginning with the line, “Trees love sky,” the book goes on to show how integrated trees are into the environments around them. From holding out their limbs for songbirds to celebrating the clouds above them by reaching tall, the trees help form the world around them. As trees burst into blooms or offer a sheltered place to read, time spent alongside trees in nature is always worthwhile.

Told in very simple poetic words, this picture book is ideal for the youngest children to see trees as something special and valuable in our world. The Author’s Note clearly ties trees to helping our climate crisis and also shares some of the amazing things that trees can do.

The illustrations of the book are particularly impactful. All painted on wooden panels, they have an incredible richness, sharing a wide variety of trees and habitats around the world including dreamy green wetlands, golden fields of wheat, and stirring details of the rough bark and the moss that is part of it.

A book that will have you headed outside to hug trees. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.