Welcome to my first Touring Picture Book Club piece. Three UK based book bloggers and I have come together to share our love for all things picture books and going beyond the book. Acorn Books, Along Came Poppy, Bookbairn and I are excited to share reviews and book related activities from crafty fun to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fun. We are all mammas to children of varying ages and hope to inspire through our Touring Picture Book Club.
First stop on our tour is a visit to Central Park in New York.
Up In The Leaves written by Shira Boss and illustrated by Jamey Christoph is based on a true story of the Central Park treehouses. At the start of the book we learn of the main character, Bob. He lives in the city of New York, a busy place, home to many, but its cramped and overcrowded qualities were undesirable to Bob. He lived for large open spaces, calm surroundings and a place where he is able to befriend nature and have a space of his own.
Bob is clear on what he likes and his love for climbing trees soon turns into building treehouses. Bob is amazing! He is resourceful, independent and knows what he likes. The treehouses provides Bob with so much happiness including, a space for imaginative play, a reading nook, a place to socialise and to star gaze. However, with the happiness, sadness followed and his treehouses were always taken down. This does not deter Bob who in real life built twelve treehouses over eight years.
Shira Boss tells the story of Bob Redman in an uplifting way. Her writing flows so well at each turn of a page and is filled with joyous examples of language that can be further explored with young readers. Examples of repetition at the start of the book repeatedly using the word “crowded” like that of a beating of a drum. Her use of onomatopoeia when Bob begins to build treehouses “Whoosh, Whoosh, whoosh, he sawed” and the fine examples of figurative language.
The illustrations are fresh and inclusive. There are backdrops of New York and wonderful illustrations of ever changing trees in different seasons, which inspired our art work connected to the book. It is also lovely for young readers to be able to observe the change between daytime and nighttime. It is clear to see when Bob is feeling happy or sad and looking at the illustrations alone is so uplifting.
My eldest daughter (Little One) and I were in awe of this book. We have both visited Central Park and I have lovely memories of walks, bike riding and enjoying the beautiful surroundings with my then three month old.
Together we completed paintings on mini canvases of the four seasons. We begun with spring and went on a walk outside to see what we could spot. Once our outdoor research was complete we used the book as a reference and created our own tree art.
Two resources that proved rather useful in creating the art were a leaf shaped cutter and a pencil. The pencil with a rubber top came in useful to print the blossom on our spring tree.
Up in the Leaves is a brilliant book that introduced my girls and I to a true arborist. Shira Boss and Jamey Christoph have produced a gorgeous book. Head over to Acorn Books, Along Came Poppy and Bookbairn and read their thoughts on the book and what bookish fun they had.
Disclaimer: We were kindly sent a copy of this book from the publishers. All words, opinions and artwork are entirely our own.