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The Lonely Pine Hardcover – August 24, 2011

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National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the World
This charming reference introduces young readers to the wider world by exploring languages, landscapes, weather, animals, capital cities, mountains, deserts, and other landscapes and landforms, and more. See more | National Geographic Kids
$14.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Editorial Reviews


Frisch (A Night on the Range) writes a free-verse tale about a year in the life of a solitary, stunted pine tree far above the Arctic tree line: "[T]he pine knew nothing of other trees./ It thought itself adequate." Delessert (Spartacis the Spider) draws luminous portraits of the animals the pine encounters opposite pages with Frisch's verses and the image of a yellowed calendar. In April, a fox takes shelter under the pine's boughs. In June, the weather warms, and musk oxen arrive: "A forest of fur encircled the pine,/ its branches of horn swirling the steam." In September, the cold returns; in December, a musher approaches. "The man leaned on an ax and considered the pine./ Then he took up his things./ The barking slid south." It's the only human intrusion. Most of the book's movement is found in Frisch's somber observations and the wealth of information in Delessert's work; the traces of ravens' wings in the snow, the fox's wary golden eyes, the moth settled on a single pine needle. In the hands of this pair, the Arctic feels as rich and mysterious as the jungle. Ages 9-up.

In the far north, where weather and light conditions prevent any growth, a small, singular pine tree stands. Around it, seasons come and go, polar bears pass by, and arctic foxes take temporary refuge under its boughs. When summer arrives, moths and other insects flutter on the needles, and in the fall, a weary owl pauses for a moment. Winter brings the aurora borealis and a sled-dog team heading south. This is a story of quiet reflection, and the book's most notable feature is the artwork. Detailed drawings in ink and watercolor using dark greens, golds, and other earth tones depict framed scenes of nature on one side, facing a calendar from 1945 that shows the passing of the months. The book is not heavy on plot, but rather sets a mood for considering the beauty of nature. Overall, a nice meditative piece.

About the Author

Aaron Frisch is an editor and author who has written many nonfiction books for children and young adults. The Lonely Pine is his third Creative Editions picture book, after 2008's Dark Fiddler: The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini and 2010's A Night on the Range.

Etienne Delessert is a renowned Swiss-American artist and author who has been creating acclaimed children's books for decades. Among his many picture book credits are I Hate to Read!, Hungry for Numbers, I Still Hate to Read!, Moon Theater, and Spartacus the Spider.

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More About the Author

Aaron Frisch's picture books--published by Creative Editions--have received several honors, including a 2009 IPPY Award Gold Medal, a 2011 Spur Award, and a finalist nomination for the 2011 Minnesota Book Awards. Of "The Lonely Pine," Kirkus Book Reviews wrote, "Beautifully turned phrases and perfectly captured descriptions beg for this to be used in middle- and high-school writing classes."

His picture books have been illustrated by acclaimed artists Gary Kelley ("Dark Fiddler: The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini," 2008), Chris Sheban ("A Night on the Range," 2010), Etienne Delessert ("The Lonely Pine," 2011), Mark Summers ("Pirates at the Plate," 2012), and Hans Christian Andersen Award-winner Roberto Innocenti ("The Girl in Red," 2012).

Aaron earned a degree in English from St. John's University (Minn.). He has written many nonfiction books for children and young adults, including biographies of Albert Einstein, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jesse James, and titles on topics ranging from coral reefs to motocross to zombies. Much of his nonfiction focus has been on professional sports, with books that cover the history and stars of teams in MLB, the NBA, and the NFL.

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The Lonely Pine
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