Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, written and illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, is an informative narrative about a girl named Butterfly, and her bond with a redwood tree, Luna. When Butterfly first meets Luna, she learns that people are planning on cutting Luna down to make houses, but Butterfly wasn’t going to let that happen. With the help and support of her friends, Butterfly decides to pack her belongings and live within Luna’s branches so that the loggers wouldn’t be able to cut Luna down. Butterfly and Luna become fast friends, but as time goes by and the seasons change from summer to winter, it becomes increasingly difficult for Butterfly to live with Luna. Nonetheless, Butterfly perseveres and after two years of spreading the word and advocating for the preservation of her friend, she is able to protect not only Luna, but the rest of the forest as well. Luna and Me sends a powerful message of perseverance and the importance of caring for our environment.
The illustrations in this book were inviting and vivid. The drawings were incredibly detailed and featured representations of different drawing utensils (water color paint, marker, colored pencil, etc.). The illustrations were engaging and added incomparable depth to the story. I especially enjoyed how Kostecki-Shaw’s visual representations of nature and how she alternated between portrait and landscape.
I have no doubt that Luna & Me would prove to be an asset to the classroom when introducing ideas of environmental awareness. Kostecki-Shaw also incorporates a rich vocabulary that I feel would be appropriately challenging for upper elementary children.
-Posted by: Noelle Yoo