The Planet

All Books Come From Trees, This Book Turns Into One

by Rafi Schwartz

May 21, 2015
image via youtube screen capture

The next big thing in children’s literature isn’t necessarily an imaginative story or lush illustrations. In fact, if you’re looking for a particularly innovative children’s book, you might not even find it on a bookshelf at all.

Instead, try digging in the ground.

image via pequeño editor

That’s where the makers of Mi Papa Estuvo en la Selva (“My Father was in the Jungle”) are hoping their story ends up. There, the picture book will slowly sprout roots, and eventually grow into a tree, closing the loop on the typical “tree becomes paper becomes book” progression that we’ve become used to.

Created by Argentinean publishers Pequeño Editor as part of their “Tree Book Tree” program, Mi Papa Estuvo en la Selva is created using eco-friendly ink and acid-free paper that has been infused with seeds from the Jacaranda tree. After reading the story, simply bury the book in fertile soil, pour water on top, and wait. Eventually, the paper and ink harmlessly decompose, leaving nothing but the seeds.

To promote the environmentally friendly lit, booksellers have begun planting copies of the book in display window terrariums, so passers-by can watch as the story slowly takes root and grows.

Adweek points out that the book, intended for children between the ages of eight and twelve, was originally published in 2008, before being reprinted as part of “Tree Book Tree” in the spring of 2015. It’s a decidedly organic effort coming at a time when e-books and digital reading continues to chip away at the tactile pleasure that comes with turning a physical page.

It’s also a reminder that books—like people—can grow, change, and ultimately become something entirely, wonderfully new.

[via good news network]

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All Books Come From Trees, This Book Turns Into One