The Washington Post
Redwoodsby Jason Chin
A ordinary subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travelsall the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders, Jason Chin's first book is
A ordinary subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travelsall the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders, Jason Chin's first book is innovative nonfiction set within a strong and beautiful picture storybook.
The Washington Post
Playing with the notion of just how immersive a book can be, illustrator Chin (The Day the World Exploded) makes his authorial debut with a clever exploration of coast redwoods. The framing story opens with a boy finding a copy of Redwoods on a subway station bench (he's even on the cover). He delves in, and facts about the ancient trees spring to life around him: as he reads in a subway car that "there are trees alive today that first sprouted during the Roman Empire," he is flanked by two figures from that era, driving home the point. Emerging from the station to find himself in the middle of a redwood forest, his adventures mirror what he's learning-standing in a redwood-made rain shower and glimpsing the Statue of Liberty in the midst of the forest (the tallest redwood is six stories taller). The straightforward narrative is given enormous energy by the inventive format and realistic watercolor illustrations-their soft edges and muted hues suit the mist-shrouded giants. Chin adeptly captures the singular and spectacular nature of redwoods in this smartly layered book. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This remarkable picture book delivers a mix of fantasy and fiction through beautifully detailed watercolors. Waiting on a subway platform alone, a boy finds a book about redwood trees and becomes captivated while reading it on the train. As he learns that there are trees alive today that first sprouted during the Roman Empire, readers notice two passengers seated beside him from that period. When he comes out of the station, he finds himself deep in a redwood forest, where, clad in climber's gear and a harness, he launches a rope, climbs a tree, discovers wildlife in the branches, and experiences the many wonders similar to a professional researcher. Colorful panels focus on his observations. Chin superbly captures the boy's varied expressions throughout his adventure. Perspective is artfully used to show the immensity of the trees as he rappels back down into the city with images of landmarks and skyscrapers. Reality returns when he notices the time and darts off, leaving the book behind for a girl to discover and begin her journey in the redwoods. The final pages include information about the environmental dangers that the redwoods face, some nature graphics drawn to scale, and an inspiring author's note. This inventive story will charm and educate readers and send their imaginations soaring.-Anne Beier, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Montrose, NY
“Mixing the true and the truly wild, Jason Chin offers up engaging facts about the towering trees of California and Oregon along with bright, captivating illustrations that pluck a kid out of New York City and plunge him into the redwood forest.” The Washington Post
“The story in the illustrations shows in lovely metaphor how a tiny seed of information can take root in a fertile mind and grow into a strong, fire- and disease-resistant, redwood-sized understanding.” Los Angeles Times
“This eco-friendly introduction to our state tree relies on straightforward writing for the facts and soft-edged art for a fanciful perspective.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Chin packs a great deal of information into his succinct text, and the blend of fantasy and realism in his watercolors will charm readers.” Science magazine
“* Chin's watercolor illustrations capture both the majesty of the redwoods and the young boy's inquisitive personality, and while the idea of a storybook so vivid that it comes to life is not new, what sets this one apart is that Chin has paired his fantastical visual narrative with a straightforward nonfiction text. ” The Horn Book, starred review
“* The straightforward narrative is given enormous energy by the inventive format and realistic watercolor illustrations--their soft edges and muted hues suit the mist-shrouded giants. Chin adeptly captures the singular and spectacular nature of redwoods in this smartly layered book.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“* A real eye-opener. . . . The text clearly and succinctly presents information, which is effectively illustrated in the colorful paintings. Even better, the narrative element in the artwork soars, promising to engage children imaginatively as well as intellectually.” Booklist, starred review
“The dazzling watercolors create an ingenious journey to highlight the facts.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“This inventive story will charm and educate readers and send their imaginations soaring.” School Library Journal
“An inventive, eye-opening adventure.” Kirkus Reviews
“A straightforward and informative text about coastal redwoods captions pictures that tell not exactly a different story, but one whose metafictional cheek will draw readers in--just as the book's hero is drawn, by his imagination, high into the redwood canopy. Science and story are seamlessly pulled together in neatly crafted paintings.” The Horn Book, a Fanfare 2009 book
Meet the Author
JASON CHIN worked as a children's bookseller. He has illustrated several books, but Redwoods is his author-illustrator debut. He lives in Vermont.
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Fascinating information about the amazing Redwood tree. Clever presentation (child picks up this book, is transported inside it, and then another child finds the book and reads it). Great non-fiction for kids.