In Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick’s Big Tree (2.5 hours), sibling sycamore seeds Merwin and Louise learn that even the tiniest among us have the power to save the world. This is a gentle, smart fable that introduces young children to the web of life and the cycle of life, death and renewal.
Academy Award winner Meryl Streep brings charm and depth to her performance of the audiobook. She endows each character, including the baby seeds, their wise mama and even time itself, with a distinct and memorable voice, and her narration is as warm as a soft blanket. The audiobook lacks the print edition’s 300 illustrations, but Ernest Troost’s orchestral music re-creates the actions and emotions of the story, enhancing Streep’s narration without overpowering it. The result is a production that preserves the accessibility and enjoyability of Selznick’s complex (and sometimes scary) story for young readers.