In this beautifully illustrated children’s picture book, author-illustrator Simon Hudson tells a quirky story of a plant that creates the world through her dreams.
First, the plant imagines herself into being and creates a tiny circle to rest on. Then she creates mud because it’s fun and “full of all the goodness that plants need.” Next, the plant dreams up snowflakes, the sun and moon, and discovers water. She imagines jellyfish arriving from space, and creates plants that hold dark magic and crabs that predict the future.
At times her mood affects what she creates or she makes things by accident. A deadly herb is created when she feels “sparkly,” mischievous and “a little out of balance.” Toadstools come into being when she is wandering through the woods singing and stumbles on acorn cups. “With a little popping sound,” writes Hudson, “all of the acorn cups magically turned into red-and-white toadstools.”
The plant teaches her creations to be happy by imagining a “magic garden” in their heads. She tells them to weed out bad thoughts when they have a problem. When sad, she suggests they picture a giant tulip, tip their heads and let those sad thoughts tumble into the flower. The idea is transcendental and poetic, and helps young readers visualize a way to clear their minds.
Hudson’s ideas are wondrous when simply described. Unfortunately, at times he becomes abstruse and, at one point, takes a dark twist to warn readers that toadstools are poisonous. Overall, though, the book is peppered with humor and whimsical ideas of how Earth came to be, imparting a meaningful message that individuals can accomplish great things. Hudson’s art is appealingly batik-like, though abstract and perhaps too sophisticated for some readers.
In general, the book offers a unique spin on creationism. Hudson presents charming ideas that skillfully reflect the fanciful nature of a child’s imaginative world.