PATIENCE Kirrily Lowe and Henry Smith Wombat Books The Invisible Tree Series 2013
When Patience landed on my desk late last year, I was immediately drawn to the collage-look cover sporting a young boy in a billowing cape, gazing expectantly toward the horizon through his telescope. What treasure was he searching for? What other wonders lay beyond the end pages? Ignoring the title, I too set sail into this nautically themed story in search of that often evasive virtue, patience.
Patience by Kirrily Lowe and Henry Smith is the fourth book in the Invisible Tree Series by this endearing team. The series is a character driven collection of picture books which focus on different 'fruits of the spirit' arising from Galatians 5:22-23 such as joy, love, peace and self-control.
While not overtly spiritual, each book gently bestows moral dilemmas upon likeable child characters. Then, after a little soul-searching and revelation, their inner invisible tree fruits with sturdy life values; love, joy and peace amongst those already produced.
Sam, the young protagonist in Patience, is taunted by a letter from his Nanna promising him a parcel full of surprises. All Sam has to do is wait for its arrival. So begins the small battle between himself and his 'not so strong (impatient) heart'.
Eventually determination prevails. Sam's parcel arrives full of everything a young adventurer could hope for but happily, Sam uncovers an even more precious gift, 'down deep inside...a fruit called patience...that makes you strong!'
I enjoyed the premise of sharing important values and virtues in a picture book for the very young and Lowe's sometimes off beat, but always impassioned, rhyming narrative helps keep the didactic overtones at bay and is suitable for new readers to handle themselves or for those still sharing their picture books with adults.
It's Henry Smith's illustrations however that steal the show and help convey these metaphoric messages with exquisite subtly and finesse. All of the artwork is created from found, re-cycled and hand-crafted papers, resulting in pages of complex, textural depth and eye-popping detail.
Patience is a visual and morally satisfying joy to read. Recommended for 4 + year olds and all those who need a little extra help tending their own inner invisible trees.
For this and more reviews by Dimity Powell visit: http://dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/