A dreary town and a lonely boy named William who lives in its orphanage have their lives transformed by a mysterious topiary artist who comes at night and turns the trees into a magical kingdom of animals. Joy and color come back to the streets, and neither the town nor William is ever the same.
There isn’t much of a story here, but the illustrations by brothers Terry and Eric Fan are magnificent. In a cross-hatched style, they create a fantasy world that will enchant the reader as much as the townspeople.
While the art initially just employs dull hues, it starts to take on color as people in the town come to life.
Evaluation: I doubt it will matter much to the intended age group – 3-6, that the story is thin; they will spend too much time marveling at the pictures.
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2016