There is much to love about this magical book, but the best part for me is the fact that it features an Asian American protagonist, without making any reference to him or his race whatsoever. He is just any kid.
The story is about a little boy riding the subway who picks up an abandoned book about redwoods. As he reads, he is transported into a redwood forest as he, and we readers, learn all about these noble trees. At the end of the story, he leaves the book on a bench, and a little girl picks it up. Then she too enters the forest as she reads.
Lovely watercolors by the author/illustrator accompany the informative text, which accomplishes a number of things: it shows children how transformative books can be; it teaches them about redwoods in interesting and awe-inspiring (but simply stated) detail; and it suggests that, if shared, books can spread joy and vicarious adventure to everyone.
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Published by Flashpoint, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, 2009