The Sparrow and the Trees
THE SPARROW & THE TREES by Sharon Chriscoe (Arbordale 2015) is a picture book illustrated in ink and watercolor. It tells the story of a sparrow who seeks help from the trees of the forest. It is based on a Native American legend that explains why deciduous trees lose their leaves each autumn.
Each picture book illustration assignment presents unique challenges and parameters, and offers distinct possibilities. When I received the manuscript for THE SPARROW & THE TREES there were several challenges I recognized: How to depict both the character of a huge tree and a tiny sparrow in the same spread and give them equal weight? How to incorporate a Native American motif into the illustrations for a story without humans? How to make the tree characters recognizable in their leafless form? The possibilities that presented themselves to me as I thought about each of these questions informed my design of this book.