Review of the Week: Luna and Me by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

luna and meKostecki-Shaw, Jenny Sue. Luna and Me. Picture Book. Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, Illus. Christy Ottavio/H. Holt, 05/2015. 40p. PLB $17.99. 978-0-8050-9976-8. OUTSTANDING. GRADES PRE-3.

This book is based upon the true story (from one perspective) of tree-sitting Julia Butterfly Hill and her activism that saved an area of old-growth redwood forest in Northern California. Julia, in this book, is depicted as a young girl who befriends and then saves a tree named Luna. Luna is a living character; the book starts with Luna’s birth thousands of years ago, then fast-forwards to Julia’s early life. The illustrations depict the height of a redwood tree by using perspective and sideways spreads. One can see the gnarls in the limbs and the flora and fauna that Luna supports. The book is not preachy, yet young children will be able to understand the story and be inspired by Julia’s bravery. A two-page spread at the end shows a photo of 23-year-old Julia in 1998 and tells the actual story, a sensation at the time. The real Julia Butterfly Hill eventually showed herself to be an intelligent and articulate advocate for the forest; this book brings this vision to a young audience. Review based on an ARC.

Ann Hotta, Berkeley PL

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