All about friendship, each page juxtaposes the difference between fostering friendship and tearing them down. Anger, harsh words and actions, and not being there for your friends creates a crack that widens and separates friends, while on the other hand, “with every kindness that we care to show, Something good and magical will begin to grow.”Die-cut pages emphasize these differences. On one side a tree (representing friendship) thrives alongside kind and friendly acts and on the other a crack (conveying hurt and damage) widens. Both the tree and crack grow as the book progresses, until the two sides merge when the children around the sprouting tree reach out “to spread the seed of friendship and touch somebody’s heart,” mending the crack and growing stronger together in kindness. This artistic read focusing on kindness hosts beautiful illustrations, elevated further by the addition of die-cut pages to further illustrate the message Teckentrup shares on kindness and friendship. While the text rhymes well, the cadence is slightly off and the text feels a little preachy. A lovely book, but possibly a read more appreciated by parents.
Britta Teckentrup has written and illustrated over seventy children’s books, which have been published in over twenty countries. Her books include Big Smelly Bear, Grumpy Cat, and The Odd One Out, as well as Tree, Bee, and The Twelve Days of Christmas in the Peek-Through Picture Book series. Born in Hamburg, Germany, and educated in London at St Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art, she currently lives with her family in Berlin.
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