Cover Image

The Magnificent Tree by N. Bland

Bland, Nick. The Magnificent Tree. Illus. Stephen Michael King. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 2013. Print.

“Bonny and Pop were always bursting with ideas. Bonny’s ideas are clever yet simple, Pop’s are “big, brave and brilliant.” Nick Bland’s direct, down-to-earth text is constantly “set up” by Stephen King’s wildly inventive illustrations. Thus, when Bonny and Pop decide they wish to encourage the birds to stay nearby, they set about making a tree, each in their own way. Pop’s method is, as you may guess, big and brave, indeed his idea is so complex “it could not fit in his head all at once”. Bonny’s is simple- it basically fits into the palm of her hand. The results are fantastic, and simple, and “Just perfect.”

This seems a simple story, but it has so much wit, gentleness and creativity in it, and so much to discover- both obvious and implied, that there are hours of pleasure in it.

Each way of looking at life, Bonny’s or Pop’s, and each unique creation gives a text that is simple and clever and illustrations that are both bold and brave.

This is the first time that the Australian author and illustrator have worked together.  May the partnership continue.

Highly Recommended: 4 out of  4 stars
Reviewer: Andrea Deakin

Andrea has been involved with books since she was class librarian in Primary School, Student Librarian in Grammar School, student librarian for the Education Faculty when she was a student, and school librarian in schools both in England and in Canada, except for the first two years in Canada where she arrived in 1959. When she retired from teaching ( English and History) she was invited to review in February 1971, and continued to review for press, radio, and finally on the Internet (Deakin Newsletter from Okanagan College) until she retired in 2011. Forty years seemed sufficient- although she still cannot keep her nose out of good children's and YA fare.