Both books Forest Dreams by Imai and Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon (illustrated by Lee White) take the theme of trees and conservation and make two different stories. Yet, while the path they take is different, the end of the journey results in the same goal.
Forest Dreams is an interesting story, but in some ways, it is abstract, too. Ayano Imai has created some very lovely illustrations to complement their text and its conservation theme. The dream the narrator goes into makes the abstractness not overwhelming and therefore also believable. There is a feeling of a Native American folktale, but you can see they are heavily influenced by their years in Japan for the artwork and the story as well.
Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Scanlon has more of a modern taste to it. It also has a unique mix of sounding almost European and Appalachian as well. This mix makes it set anyplace and anytime. This time the planting of trees does not come from a dream but from the fact the man on the hill has trouble when it storms. And a little girl who knows what to do to help him.
The delightful illustrations of White make Kate quirky and less dreamlike than Forest Dreams, which of course is a dream. When the dream starts in Forest Dreams (when the child falls asleep or before, after all how many rabbits carry acorns in a sac?) is slightly up to the reader.
The theme of conservation and of planting trees to keep the earth available for all of us is classic and it transcends any one culture.