Only the Trees Know (Hardcover)
A frustrated little rabbit longs for spring in this gentle, warmhearted story about waiting.
Little Rabbit is hungry, bored and very tired of winter. “When will it be spring?” he asks his parents. All they can tell him is that he must wait and be patient. Except, Little Rabbit doesn’t like waiting, or being patient. Instead, he turns to the oldest, wisest rabbit in the forest, his grandmother, to find out when it will be spring. “Only the trees know,” she says. “Ask them, and they will tell you.” So Little Rabbit does. But the trees don’t answer him. He tries shouting, jumping up and down, listening very hard. And still, nothing. Then, just when Little Rabbit is about to give up, he notices there’s something different in the forest, something that’s right underneath his nose …
Author Jane Whittingham’s message of finding hope and patience in trying times is always a relevant one for children. The lyrical depictions of the forest in winter — “The winds blew and bit, the trees shivered and shook, and the snow fell and fell” — give this book the feel of a classic. Cinyee Chiu’s lush illustrations in muted shades evoke a magical wintery world, and their varied perspectives perfectly showcase Little Rabbit’s place in his world.
This book offers excellent character education lessons on patience, perseverance and resilience. Young readers will be rooting for Little Rabbit, easily relating to his impatience. It’s the perfect read-aloud for a late-winter day, or anytime children are finding it hard to wait.
Cinyee Chiu studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art and has worked on books, board games and more. Interested in sustainable living, she dreams of someday planting her own spring vegetable garden and living somewhere close to nature. She divides her time between Colombia and Taiwan.
The mindfulness theme of the story encourages readers, like the young rabbit, to slow down and be aware of their surroundings.—Booklist