Last Tree in the City (New Frontier) is a story about Edward, who lives in the city. Edward’s city is a place of concrete and cars, a world without colour. Every day, Edward takes himself to a part of the city that is not like the city at all – the last tree in the city. He is happy there, until one day, the tree is gone. Edward (and his duck) eventually figure out a unique way to make the city more beautiful than it ever was before.
This is a book for everybody. If you have ever lived in a city and longed for fresher air, you will identify with Edward instantly. If you have ever shaken your head in disbelief as a patch of greenery is replaced by another patch of concrete, you will know how Edward feels. And if you’ve ever wanted to change the world, this is the book for you. The way in which Edward inspires his fellow cityfolk promotes the message that one little person can make a huge difference. If this book were a song, it would be a cross between Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi and Paul Kelly’s From Little Things, Big Things Grow (if I do say so myself).
My favourite part of making this book was using colour to siginify hope, especially in the opening illustrations and then in the final double-page illustration, when Edward’s influence is fully realised. As usual, there is a silent friend in here. This time it’s a duck. Why a duck? Edward needed a friend that could easily sit in his tricycle and would enjoy the tree without flying too far away. And it’s fun drawing ducks.
New Frontier’s designer, Nicholas Pike, did a great job on this book, especially the font on the cover.
The illustrations are in watercolour in ink.