Written and illustrated by Jacques Goldstyn
Translated from French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2017

This is a charming, touching story about an imaginative boy whose best friend is an oak tree named Bertolt. The boy admits to being an outsider, but insists that while he is alone, he is never lonely. Being independent suits him, and he considers his difference to be his advantage. This book is about the imagination and the wonderful ways in which we nurture ourselves in the process of becoming who we are, and because Bertolt dies in a winter's storm, it is also a book about finitude and loss, sorrow and acceptance.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-2299
7" (W) x 9" (H) • 80 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 1-5
Lexile Level: 560
Guided Reading Level: N

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A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2017
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids Selection

A 2017 Booklist Editors’ Choice
A CBC “Hot Off The Press” Selection of April 2017
A Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of 2018

★ "Humor, contemplation, and masterful illustrations." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

★ "It is an intimate book that implores you to read it in hushed tones with quiet pauses. Its sadness holds beauty; its sweetness never threatens to become saccharine. Bertolt is a truly exceptional exploration of ephemerality." —STARRED REVIEW, Serah-Marie McMahon, Quill & Quire

★ "Goldstyn’s playful prose is similarly nuanced, alternating between humor, palpable admiration for the natural world, unflinching honesty, and in the story’s final spreads, no words at all. Reworking notions of both loss and what it means to be alone, this is an imaginative, introspective, and quietly profound paean to life’s little wonders." —STARRED REVIEW, Briana Shemroske, Booklist

"Crowning the canon of arboreal allegories is Bertolt by French-Canadian geologist-turned-artist Jacques Goldstyn—the uncommonly tender story of an ancient tree named Bertolt and the boy who named and loved it. From Goldstyn’s simple words and the free, alive, infinitely expressive line of his illustrations radiates a profound parable of belonging, reconciling love and loss, and savoring solitude without suffering loneliness." —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"The story is beautifully observed, and readers will look forward to more from Goldstyn." —Publishers Weekly

"A lovely look at introversion, imagination and the power of being different and embracing it." —Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells

"Full of quiet beauty, this 80 page picture book talks about love, loss, and acceptance in a way that is sweet and honest." —Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes

"Goldstyn manages to convey a world of emotions in his detailed drawings, and captures the feelings of childhood—both its playfulness and imagination, as well as the sense of smallness that comes with being a child in a world of adults.” —Bernie Goedhart, Postmedia

"We all struggle with processing loss. Watch as this sad, thoughtful, yet clever little boy performs final ‘rites’ for Bertolt. It is a moment you won’t forget."—The Vermont Country Sampler


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