Earth, wind, trees, giddy creatures, rain and sun are all celebrated through a medley of sensory impressions, in this marvellously evocative collection of poems and prints which burst out on every page. It’s a book for the child in all of us. Zaro Weil is an exuberant revitaliser of language. Neologisms and word-play enchant and bemuse, provoke and stimulate a child’s sense of wonder in the world, in a shorthand of expressive emotion. At one moment we are, ‘wild as the wind … / atop a whizzing zig-zaggery’; the next exploring stillness and contemplation, ‘to dream all the dreams / I can possibly dream’. The excitable words have inspired Junli Song’s playfully idiosyncratic illustrations, which complement the book’s sheer love of life and sense of being in the natural world. Muted colours, surreal dancing movements and patterned joyfulness abound. Parents will enjoy reading the words and talking about the pictures to young children. Older children will happily grapple with the ideas expressed in language and pictures. A joy for all.
Zaro Weil's poems are simple-seeming and fun to read, the language exuberant and with a wonderful sense of delight in nature -- rivers, mountains, stones, trees, weather -- but they have an underlying seriousness and are full of ideas about the environment that will give children lots to think about. My 7-year-old loves it and keeps talking about the poems and asking questions. Junli Song's gorgeous colourful illustrations make it a lovely book to look at, too. This is a highly original, timely and really important book that will encourage children's awareness of all life on our planet and how it is changing.