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Ebony Zayzay
The Adventures of Keva: The Power of the Trees
Ebony Zayzay, author
The perfect picture book for every explorer and nature lover! ‘The adventures of Keva: The Power of the Trees’ is an energetic story that celebrates nature, adventure, and a deep love of not just one special tree, but all trees. Join Keva as she explores the outdoors and studies “dirt, plants and squirmy things” with her parents. Keva loves the outdoors, especially the trees! One such tree is her favorite tree, Iya, who is said to hold magical powers. When machines arrive and threaten to take Iya away, will this magic be enough to help Keva to save her! Come out of the story with a renewed feeling of wonder for nature and the trees that give us and so many, life. With a lot of playful animal and nature illustrations, this story’s sure to make any child excited while reading!
An intrepid child witnesses deforestation firsthand in this heartfelt picture book, which opens in medias res as young Keva prepares to join her parents’ expedition to the Western Rift Valley. Narrating explorations among the trees (“the breathing sticks of the earth,” writes Zayzay), Keva highlights a sprawling old tree called Iya, whose distress signal Keva hears when Iya is suddenly uprooted and trucked away. Though a gust of magical wind carries Keva aloft toward Iya, the child is too late to save the tree, leading to a discussion of preservation. A line about the beliefs of “the natives” strikes an unfortunate note (“Mom smirks. ‘And, they insist that if you listen closely, you can hear [a] magical whisper’ ”), undercutting the book’s message of hope. Dyoni’s unlined, game-like digital illustrations map clearly to the text throughout, and the brown-skinned family’s dialogue breaks up Keva’s first-person narration. Ages 3–9. Self-published.