Well this was an improvement over my previous book: Anna. Still I had expected more, and I had quite a few questions.
When I read about that tree, and Maiko trying to save it, I had epic battles in my mind. Instead Maiko doesn’t do much about it. Sure, he worries, he is sad, but the only thing he truly does is hiding tools or running away. Both not really that special or awesome. Yes, this is a kid, but still, I have read enough kids books to know that kids can do amazing things if they want to.
But I did like the story about Maiko, how he misses the big tree in his birth village, how he wishes he could have such a tree here. Because he feels out of place in this new country, with his aunt and uncle (I also do wonder how he got to live with them, are his parents dead? Is it dangerous where he lived (I know some place in Africa are dangerous)? Something else?). He gets laughed at because of his ears (God only knows why, he has normal ears, but I guess kids can be cruel), and he feels alone (though he will find out he is never lonely, he has his aunt and uncle and his friend).
I also liked that he talked to the tree, that he told the tree stories about his life. It was cute.
The ending? It was adorable and I am happy for both Maiko and the tree.
The art was really lovely, I love the style. Everything (not just humans or backgrounds) was just perfectly done. I do wonder how it looks in paperback, I am sure the pages look pretty and not cropped like it was on my tablet.
All in all, this is a story that I would recommend, though don’t expect a great, epic battle to save a tree. Instead find a story about a boy in strange country, who misses his old country and who feels out of place. See him grow and find happiness.