POETREE -- Red Deer Press, May 2018
For CAROLINE PIGNAT, curiosity leads to wonder and wonder leads to words. Poems and stories have been sprouting in Caroline’s imagination since she was a little kid. Now a teacher, a two-time Governor General’s Award winner, and a best-selling author of seven novels, Caroline still likes to spend time walking in the woods with her family near her home in Ottawa. As Caroline says, “The best seeds are found when you wander and wonder.” Poetree is her first picture book.
FRANÇOIS THISDALE has been creating images for children’s books for thirty years. His art consists of a unique blend of drawing, photography, and richly textured painting. François’ work has won, among others, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the Notable Books for a Global Society Award (Missing Nimâmâ), the IBBY Honour List (The Stamp Collector). That Squeak by Carolyn Beck was a finalist for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, and was selected as an Honour Book for the Elizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award. François lives near Montreal, Quebec.
"A vivid celebration of the seasons through acrostic poetry."
-- Kirkus *Starred Review*
"...a hymn to the earth by an accomplished poet."
-- Sheree Fitch
"Pignat and Thisdale’s joint effort yields a rewarding
and engagingly layered introduction to the life cycle and poetic form."
-- Kirkus *Starred Review*
"This gorgeous lifecycle book has many levels of word-play on each page
that will engage the attention of independent readers,
or keep pre-readers coming back for more."
"While recognized for drawing complex characters in her stories,
in this debut picture book, Pignat turns to simple acrostic poems
to celebrate the variety and fecundity of nature...
In combination with rich illustrations that amplify the text,
Poetree is a pleasing encounter with this literary form."
-- Quill and Quire
...Rooting her exploration of time’s passage in events taking place in the natural world, Pignat charts “amazing growth and wondrous deeds / now promised in these tiny seeds” planted both in the literal soil and readers’ imaginations through her lyric acrostic poems and Thisdale’s evocative pastoral illustrations. Twenty-five words run vertically down the thin volume’s pages—“germinate,” “deciduous,” “knots,” and “bushel” among them—introducing new terms and concepts while subtly guiding these haikulike lyrics through the seasons, with spare lines extending from each initial letter like branches. Finding the promise of a continuum in even the slightest natural occurrence or state of being, Pignat showcases the cyclical nature of existence: “Somehow each ending is not the / End, / Even / Death / Scatters new beginnings.” Throughout the work, Thisdale’s sumptuously colored and detailed mixed-media double-page spreads deftly underscore Pignat’s focus on the continuity of being, not only by depicting how a seed transforms from sapling to tree to bearer of fruit to kindling, but by subtly suggesting the stages of human life by following the silhouette of a boy in spring through adolescence in summer, to a man harvesting apples in fall before shuffling off into the distance in the snow...
Kirkus -- Starred Review
Find inspiration for your class. Follow Caroline's Poetree Board on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/cplus/poetree/