Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Tony Johnston
Illustrator:   Wendell Minor 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Macmillan, 2014   ISBN: 978-1596437272

In a few forests on the western side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range there are sequoias. These giant, ancient trees live for about three thousand two hundred years, and they provide animals of all kinds with a home, a refuge where they can feed, sleep, and raise their young in peace.

   The trees have been present for thousands of sunrises and sunsets. They have survived fires, and have held the snow of winter on their branches. They have witnessed the passing of the seasons; the soft waking of spring, the “shimmering” heat of summer, the changes of fall, and the quiet of winter.

   As readers look through this book they will get to know one of these giant trees, Sequoia, who has stood in the forest for thousands of years, a giant who wears “a thin shawl of sun upon his shoulders” at dawn, and who “reaches high his ancient arms and gathers stars to him at night.” The lyrical text captures the majesty and beauty of Sequoia, and the artwork allows us to appreciate how precious and priceless he, and his kin, is.

   In addition to the magical narrative that takes us into the life of a giant sequoia, readers will also find further information about these wonderful trees at the back of the book.