Picture books

The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie

The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie, published by Templar Books, is a wonderful picture book which also includes an important environmental message.

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In this book we meet lumberjack Jim Hickory. A creature of habit, Jim follows the same routine each day; he gets up, does his exercises, eats a huge stack of pancakes and sets about chopping down trees in the forest. Until one evening a little bird appears on his doorstep, angry that the tree she had built her nest in had been chopped down. Feeling responsible, Jim offers his beard as a place of sanctuary. Over the next couple of nights the bird is joined by a homeless beaver and a displaced porcupine who have all suffered from Jim’s work. Seeing that his beard is getting overcrowded Jim realises that something needs to change and comes up with a plan to rehome the animals and rebuild the forest.

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Beautifully illustrated with a gorgeous colour palette and friendly, happy characters who are set against the dramatic landscapes of the forest.

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The book has a creative layout with a mix of full page illustrations and comic-style panel illustrations which move the action on at an exciting pace.

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Jim is a lovable character, written and illustrated with warmth and charm. His compassion for the animals in the forest conveys an important message to young children about the effects of deforestation and the impact it has on wildlife.

This book arrived with a little extra gift, some Fir tree seeds. We decided to plant these for the Jewish festival of Tu B’Shevat when it’s traditional to plant new trees. Tu B’Shevat celebrates a new year for trees and is sometimes referred to as the birthday of the trees. At Tu B’Shevat we’re reminded of the importance of trees, the things that they provide for us and the environment. This book about Jim and his care for the forest is a perfect story to read during this festival.

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You can find out more about Duncan Beedie’s beautiful work here.

Many thanks to Templar Publishing for sending a copy of this book for review. 

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