The Tree and the River

By Aaron Becker

A spectacular time-lapse portrait of humankind – and our impact on the natural world – from a Caldecott Honor-winning master of the wordless form.

For his latest feat of visual storytelling, the acclaimed creator of the Journey trilogy invents, in staggering detail, a familiar world layered with imaginary civilizations. Borrowing from multiple cultures and architectural styles to craft astonishing new humanscapes, Aaron Becker tracks the evolution of our species – and its toll on the Earth – through the fates of a lone tree and an enduring river. River and tree bear silent witness over time as people arrive to harness water, wind, and animals; devise technology and transportation; redirect rivers; and reshape the land. Timely and ultimately hopeful, this wordless epic invites readers to pore over spreads densely packed with visual drama. Fans of Journey, Quest, and Return will leap at a new chance to uncover sophisticated layers of meaning, marvel at intricate details – from holographic billboards to flying machines – and see our precious shared world through fresh eyes.

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 3+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781529512946
  • Published: 06 Apr 2023
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 240 x 270 mm
  • Pages: 32

More to explore...

  • The-Last-Zookeeper
  • The-Tree-and-the-River
  • Journey
  • Return

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Customer reviews


'[Aaron Becker's] beautiful, super-detailed artwork is the perfect igniter of class discussion as children are empowered to think and decide where the story might go. […] Becker’s books are a breath of fresh air in a shouty market that is so often overrun with crude digital printouts […] As with the best illustrators, the more you look, the more you see. Another huge achievement.' The Times

'Stunning, thought-provoking wordless picture book.' the Bookseller

'I like this book as it is different, it has only pictures. It is nice to spot the tree and river on each page and see how they change when I turn the page.' Kids Book Reviews, Books Up North

'This is a book to inspire conversation with young readers.' Books for Keeps

'There is so much to admire in this epic picture book which rewards multiple careful re-readings in order to notice more of the details Becker has included. The buildings, vehicles and costumes do not belong to any particular culture and at times take on an otherworldly quality reminiscent of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. This unfamiliar visual vocabulary gives a universality to Becker’s story. Above all, it is good to read books for younger readers which deal seriously with environmental issues but also convey a hopeful message.' Just Imagine

'You’ll find yourself reading it over and over again in a never-ending cycle, focusing on a different story each time. There are hours of entertainment in this brilliant book and plenty of both current and relevant themes, ranging from our role in climate change to the difficulties of war and the ultimate purpose of civilization.' Reading Matters Guide

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