Review of I’ll Take Care of You

I’ll Take Care of You I’ll Take Care of You
by Maria Loretta Giraldo; illus. by Nicoletta Bertelle; trans. from Italian by Johanna McCalmont
Primary    Blue Dot Kids    32 pp.    g
4/22    978-1-73760-323-8    $18.95

“Once there was a tiny seed. So small in the great big world, it felt lost and lonely.” The earth, rain, and sky all help the seed thrive, offering a place to land, plus water and sun so it can grow into a strong apple tree. “The Earth said to the seed, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’ll take care of you.’ And welcomed it into its sweet, soft soil.” Once grown, the tree extends the care given to it by inviting a bird to raise her chick in its branches. The bird, in turn, carries an apple seed to fertile soil to start the cycle again. “Carefully, she picked up the tiny seed in her beak and gave it to the Earth.” With relatively few words, Giraldo gives readers a simple science lesson, a message about interdependence, and a comforting story about generosity (perfect for elementary classroom social-emotional learning). Bertelle employs rich, bold colors for her lush illustrations. The thick layers of acrylic paint with visible brushstrokes and scratched lines are as multilayered as the story itself. In the final spread, when the bird sings to the seed, waiting for it to sprout, the birdsong is pictured as multicolored egg-shaped bubbles, bursting with apple blossoms and other flowers, suggesting a celebration of the rebirth to come.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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