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Maybe You Might

They said I couldn’t change the world; it wasn’t worth the fight. But in my head, a small voice said…maybe you might. A young girl makes a choice to plant a seed by a long dead riverbed. Little does she know that from this single, small act, a vibrant ecosystem will grow. This inspiring poem – bursting with hope for a greener world – is a love letter to our ailing planet. It shows us that even when the future appears most bleak, each one of us can make a difference.

Our Review Panel says...

What first strikes you about this picture book are the beautiful and unusual illustrations – simple shapes and evocative colours that move from browns to greens, always muted and rich. They conjure a bare and barren landscape that is slowly transformed into a vibrant and plentiful rainforest.

The story is told in the first person and so as readers, we never know the name of the little girl in the story, suggesting it could be any one of us. The powerful beginning tells us that “they said I couldn’t change the world” and this hopeful story says to both the girl in the story and to the reader that maybe you might. The little girl explains that in the place she was born there is now just desert, where once there were rivers and trees. One day she finds a seed and plants the seed in the dried up river bed. Despite the protestations of those around her telling her that the seed will never grow, she continues to protect and nurture the seed until it grows into an amazing fruit tree – and so producing more seeds that can be planted.

There is a powerful picture in the story that shows the roots of the trees reaching far below the little village, deep into the old river bed. It seems to suggest the power of the natural world, its depths and wonder. The deep roots then enabled water to be transported to the trees leaves, producing steam and then clouds and so rain, once again filling the river. As the child grows up, she shows that we can never be complacent, as one of the trees is blown down in a storm. Another young child produces a seed and so continues the cycle of care for the forest so that the forest in turn, might care for those that live there.

The illustrator dedicates the book to her great grandmother, one of the indigenous people of Brazil and the story is clearly a plea for us all to think about our treatment of the planet and not to give up when the scale of the environmental challenge facing us seems so huge.

Reviewer: Jane Carter

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Maybe You Might

maybe you might

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