Tallec, Olivier

It's My Tree

(2) PS Translated by Yvette Ghione. A frantic squirrel, with a dramatically oversized tail, has a favorite tree and loves to eat pinecones in its shade. In a series of conditional statements, the squirrel begins to wonder what will happen if someone else claims the tree or even the pinecones. "I need everyone to know these are MY pinecones and this is MY tree," says the squirrel in a spread with a larger font (and the use of capitalized possessive pronouns) to emphasize the underlying greed. The squirrel also wonders what might happen if the tree is marked off by a wall--a sturdy, long wall, joined by yet another wall. Tallec lays out the action in a primarily copper-colored palette and, to great effect, uses only two double-page spreads--one to show how excessively long the squirrel imagines the wall to be and the other to show what might happen if the squirrel peeks over it. This latter moment, the book's open-ended conclusion, makes for a good vehicle for discussion. The squirrel's over-the-top facial expressions--the wide-eyed, paranoid looks--are often laugh-out-loud-funny; the cover art, not repeated in the book, shows the squirrel desperately trying to hang on to possession of the tree. This contemporary fable about gluttony, selfishness, and isolationism is a fitting one for our times; with its exaggerated humor, it goes down easy.


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