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While e-books are on the rise, most people, especially young kids, still prefer printed versions that they can pore over for hours on end. Though that is an excellent habit, it also means cutting down precious trees. But what if the book could revert to its roots and transform back into a tree? Now thanks to a Brazilian children's book publisher, that is possible, at least for one book!
The "Tree Book Tree" program is the brainchild of Argentina's Pequeno Editor and FCB Buenos Aires. Their first creation Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva (My Father Was In the Jungle), has been around in regular format for many years. In the book, a young boy takes the readers on an exciting journey of his father's adventures inside an Ecuadorian jungle.
The book that is made from acid-free paper, printed with non-toxic ink and hand-stitched and bound, is completely recyclable. Jacaranda seeds are carefully sewn into the pages to help it transform into a tree.
Raquel Franco, the editorial director of Pequeno Editor, says they picked the book because "It has an endearing message regarding the respect we owe to all living beings. But we were wondering how to take this message even deeper. We wanted to develop a powerful communication action with a metaphorical weight.
After a kid is done reading the book (over and over again), he/she waters the cover and place it in a sunny area inside the house. Once the seeds sprout, the book can be planted in the dirt in any location the owner decides. From then on the book just has to be nurtured like any other plant. Franco says they picked the Jacaranda because "It's a tree that provides excellent shade and offers a lot of oxygen to the environment."
The only unfortunate part is that the publishers are not planning to transform their other titles or even make more copies of this "tree book" anytime soon. This non-commercial project was just a one-time project to make everyone aware of the resources used when producing something even as common as a book.