Let’s face it… The beard trend might just be here to stay. Facial fuzz has been the fad of choice for the 2010s. The hipsters’ version of 30s’ slicked back hair, the 50s’ high waisted trousers and the 80s’ sweater around the neck. So I guess a picture book about a beard was bound to happen. And boy am I glad it did.
The Lumberjack’s Beard is written and illustrated by the aptly named Duncan Beedie (errr beardie?) It’s beautifully written, lovingly illustrated and really, very important.
Big, burly Jim Hickory the lumberjack lives in a log cabin and has an enormous bristly beard. He likes to limber up, eat pancakes with maple syrup and chop down trees. But when big-hearted Jim discovers his lumber-jacking is leaving the local wildlife homeless, he gives them a home in the most unusual way.
With a three year old and a one year old, I can relate to Jim’s houseguests making him look and feel more and more bedraggled as the book goes on. But the BEST part of this book is the gentle, but important, message that actions have consequences. Deforestation is REAL and our children (the readers of this book) will pay the heaviest price for it.
The Lumberjack’s Beard tackles how deforestation causes loss of habitat for wildlife. It’s sensitively handled and perfectly poignant. But we mustn’t also forget the impact on soil erosion, on rising greenhouse gases speeding up global warming and the disruption to biodiversity. At the current rate of deforestation there will be no rainforests in a hundred years.
(I’ll climb off my soapbox now).
Needless to say, it’s a hairy issue. So who better to tackle it then this wonderfully hairy-chinned man? Please read this one to your kids. It’s beardiful.