So, with a hope and a prayer of finding such a bottle of scented heaven, I wandered into the Gift Shop. I didn't find a way to bring home the aroma, but what I did find was quite a treat.
Sitting on the shelf with other books was a picture book called "Redwoods" by a fellow Brooklynite, Jason Chin. I opened it up and immediately fell in love.
What struck me is that this book is non-fiction, yet totally fiction at the same time. The words tell a very dry, fact-filled non-fiction account of the trees. Yet, the illustrations take the reader on the most magnificent journey.
A small boy finds a book about redwood trees on the platform of the NYC Subway. He picks it up, hops on the F Train and starts reading. With each page turn he literally becomes more and more involved with the words until he exits the station and finds himself in a redwood forest.
Taken alone, the words are very textbook. But adding the illustrations makes this non-fiction book sing!
I have never attempted a non-fiction picture book, however, I urge anyone who has or might someday want to, to take a look at "Redwoods" by Jason Chin.
“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
“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.” —Starred,Horn Book
“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.”—Starred, Publishers Weekly