[NetBehaviour] Mi Pap Estuvo en la Selva

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Sun May 31 01:56:06 CEST 2015

Bury This Book In The Ground And It Will Magically Come Back
As A Tree

This children's book not only teaches about ecology, it
practices it.

Despite the rise of e-books, most children's books are still
made from trees. One new picture book is designed as a
simple reminder of that fact: When kids finish reading a
story about an adventure in the rainforest, they can plant
the book in the ground.  Eventually, the paper will sprout
back into a mini-forest of jacaranda saplings.


The book, Mi Pap Estuvo en la Selva (My Father Was In the
Jungle), from a Buenos Aires publisher, had been around for
a while in a standard format. But the publisher wanted to
redesign it.

"It has an endearing message regarding the respect we owe to
all living beings," says Raquel Franco, editorial director
of Pequeno Editor. "But we were wondering how to take this
message even deeper. We wanted to develop a powerful
communication action with a metaphorical weight."

Each page is printed with nontoxic inks and sown with seeds
from the jacaranda, a tree native to Argentina. "It's a tree
that provides excellent shade and offers a lot of oxygen to
the environment," says Franco. Before planting the book,
kids water the cover to help the seeds germinate, and leave
it in a sunny spot indoors. Once the seeds have sprouted,
the book can go in a garden or in the dirt next to a road or

It's probably not a design that would work for most books,
since people tend to want to keep them. But the small run of
the picture book, which the publisher made as a
non-commercial project, is just meant to make a point. The
editors also hope that the book will be read and re-read
several times before it ends up in the ground.

"We especially encourage re-reading it," says Franco. "We
think this book must be planted after it has been read many
times, in such a way that every time a kid looks at that
growing tree he will perfectly remember the story that gave
birth to it. It's also a metaphor--everything we read also
takes root in us and is part of our mental library, our
culture, of who we are as people."


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list