A picturebook that spans generations, offering a poetic glimpse into the life of a single tree and the interconnectedness of all living beings in the natural world. Set against the backdrop of the French countryside, the story begins with the tree’s humble origins as a tiny sapling, barely reaching the height of a dandelion, and follows its remarkable journey of growth, resilience, and profound connections across the land as its own seeds scatter and grow.
Through beautifully detailed illustrations and eloquent prose, the oak narrates its life’s story, sharing the joys and challenges it has witnessed over its 457 years of existence. The tree becomes a living witness to a myriad of moments: from animals seeking refuge in its branches to weather-induced trembles in its roots. Throughout its long life, the tree stands as a symbol of harmony, where nature and creatures coexist in a delicate balance, often overlooked by human eyes.
The exceptional illustrations by Nicolas Michel offer a raw, natural insight into the narrative. Black and shades of grey watercolours capture photographic moments in the tree’s life as the natural world depends upon it for food and shelter. The sharp contrast of these colours against negative space captures the drama of these moments, and the sparse prose on the verso guides the reader’s focus. From the breathtaking beauty of nature to the dramatic moments of storms and survival, Michel’s artwork completes a harmonious synergy that will resonate with readers of all ages.
Within My Branches is a delightful invitation to contemplate the wonders of the natural world and consider the life and struggles of a tree from an intimate, imaginative perspective. It serves as a beautiful reminder for readers, both young and old, to cherish and protect the fragile ecosystems that surround us.