At these uncertain times, we would like to share with you some memories from a trip we made a while ago to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. That is where the story for 'The Redwood Tree and Its Friends' book originated and developed. We used to live in Northern California and took long walks in redwood forests. And now we invite you to take a digital walk over there with us!
Just before the severe COVID-19 outbreak, we travelled across Bay Area to revisit some of the places and locations we used to go to while living in Northern California for two years. At the time, Eira was four years old and attended preschool with children of mixed ages.
We lived close to a redwood forest. This way, Eira got to observe a lot from the forest landscape and wildlife. She saw orange-bellied newts in the creek. She and her friends collected bags full of squishy banana slugs. A mountain lion left poop at our property. She watched for coyotes and skunks as we drove in the night. She got to observe a family of deer and a flock of wild turkeys that occupied the driveway. Emilee observed the life in the forest as well and her favorite animal - a marbled murrelet bird.
The girls’ experiences started the story of 'The Redwood Tree and Its Friends'. Eira composed much of this story, identified animals and plants to feature and generated ideas for the friendly messages among them. We worked with a NYC based artist Alexis Kandra, who was also Emilee's teacher while living in the city. Eira described the magic of redwoods to Alexis, who created beautiful art of the natural world and all of the story components in it.
As you can see, we all have a very special relationship with redwood forests. That is why we collect different books with stories based there! Among our favorites are: Redwoods by Jason Chin, Seabird in the Forest by Joan Dunning, The Tree of Time by Cathy Baron, A Voice for the Redwoods by Loretta Halter and Luna & Me by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw.
Our own Redwood book is stocked in various places, such as Lucas Lucas Gallery in New York City, Black Bird Bookstore in San Francisco, Apricity Gallery in Santa Cruz and Big Basin Redwoods State Park gift shop. While we strongly support social distancing during these times, we wanted to mention them to make sure these wonderful galleries and stores stay on your radar once the worst is over. We hope you will be able to see them for yourself sometime in the future!