Stephanie Owen Reeder
Good picture books stimulate a child’s imagination. Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King celebrate creativity in The Magnificent Tree (Scholastic, $24.99 hb, 32 pp, 9781742832951). Bonny and Pops enjoy sharing ideas and making things together. Bonny’s inventions are ‘simple, clever and properly made’, while Pops’s creations are ‘big, brave and brilliant with bits sticking out’. Determined to attract the attention of the birds flying overhead, each comes up with a different but equally satisfying solution. King’s bulbous-nosed cartoon characters, minimalist backgrounds, and organic machinery interact with Bland’s thoughtful text to present a gently reassuring tale about intergenerational friendship and creative problem-solving.