The Lumberjack’s Beard
Delivered with gentle humour, Duncan Beedle’s new picture book is an environmental fable. Herein we meet Jim – Big Jim Hickory, bristly-bearded, burly tree feller who (after his daily limbering-up, or should that be lumbering-up regime) …
does what lumberjacks do; he takes his axe, heads to the forest and destroys trees.
This activity, he subsequently learns, spells disaster for the forest-dwelling animals: the bird no longer has her new nest, the pine needles and leaves for porcupine’s shelter have gone up in smoke and moving those tree trunks down the river has deprived beaver of his new dam.
Furthermore the alternative accommodation Jim’s providing for these creatures is becoming more than a little troublesome to him.
Time for some felling of a different kind decides our hirsute lumberjack …
which of course leaves its residents homeless once more. Another idea is needed, Jim – a better one this time. And here he goes …
The domestic scenes of Jim and his tenants are hilarious and Beedle renders his superb landscapes in appropriately earthy hues –
as the impact of deforestation is introduced to the very young. The message assuredly packs a powerful punch.
There’s just SO much to think about and discuss with foundation stage and KS1 audiences. This one’s an absolute ‘must have’ for classrooms as well as individual sharing.