Andrea Alban and artist Lisa Burnett Bossi
I was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by Andrea Alban, after she visited the Happiness Tree Decor site last year. She had been cyber searching her children’s book, The Happiness Tree, and had run across my site in the process. I had seen the book cover for her book many times, while doing searches for my own site rankings, so I was already aware that the book existed. Unfortunately, I had done a disservice to myself, by not looking more closely at what this little book holds inside. The old adage that you should not judge a book by the cover, or age category in this case, very much applies.
Luckily, Andrea sent me a copy of the book. I started to read it with my adoptive niece and nephew in mind, but ultimately the contents the book made me fall in love with it myself. The story is soulful and weaves a tale of community, stewardship, courage, and hope. The illustrations, by Lisa Burnett Bossi, give that spirit visual form with abundant prismatic flair and a subtle alchemy of organic movement and elemental pattern. The art is free and playful, but purposeful, with tremendous symbolic imagery packed into each page.
In essence the story is about the wild web of life, but the true genius it holds comes from the exploration of how we are part of that web and how each of us has a part to play. Without being dictatorial or clinical, The Happiness Tree gives youngsters a template for being a good person throughout their lives, by showing them how they are the caretakers of of our future, how they are connected to that future through the natural world, all the cycles of life, and each other. Everything has a purpose, everything has a time.
I’ve held off doing this review until this very month for good reason. Spring is upon us. The cycle of life is to begin again. April is the one month of the year when the Earth, and all living things on it, are in the sights of our collective mind. Earth Day is eight days from now and National Arbor Day is the last Friday of this month. Most states in the union will celebrate their own Earth Days and Arbor Days before the end of April. If you are looking for a gift for child in you life, I’d pick up a copy of Andrea Alban’s & Lisa Burnett Bossi’s The Happiness Tree and plan to plant a tree with them.You couldn’t get a better gift for them or build a better memory. You can get the book at from your local independent bookstore, here, or from Amazon.com .