The Wind and the Trees

A picture book by Todd Stewart.

Todd Stewart

One day, a tiny pine seedling strikes up a conversation with a nearby tree. As the seedling grows larger, the older pine shares what it has learned about the strong wind that blows through the forest. Wind stretches trees and dries them out, but it also scatters seeds, spreads messages across the forest, and helps trees grow strong as it pushes against their trunks.

As time passes, the wind takes its toll on the older tree. It loses needles and starts to droop as the young tree grows fuller and stronger. When a fierce storm rolls in, the heavy winds take down the older tree, leaving the younger one all alone. Or so it thinks. Soon after, a new seedling blown in by the wind lands on the spot where the old tree fell, and the cycle begins again. This moving picture book poignantly honours intergenerational relationships and the exchange of wisdom, while also opening up conversations about loss and environmental stewardship.

The Wind and the Trees is on the shortlist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — illustrated books. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

Todd Stewart is a Montreal illustrator, children's book author and a self-taught screen printer. Trained as a landscape architect and urban planner, his images are culled from experience and surroundings, and reflect a search for meaning in new and familiar places. The Wind and the Trees is his debut book as an author-illustrator. 

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