Dougie & V: The Story of a Flower and a Tree by Ben Sharony and Carly Jo Carson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young Douglas fir tree must learn the path to self-acceptance with the help of an older and wiser flower in authors Ben Sharony and Carly Jo Carson’s “Dougie & V: The Story of a Flower and a Tree”.


The Synopsis

Dougie & V tells the story of a tree who wants to be a flower. 

Dougie, a young Douglas Fir, can easily spot the gifts and strengths of others, but has a difficult time seeing anything good in himself. Can you relate? 

In the first half of the book, Dougie relentlessly compares himself to V, a vibrant violet. V, older and wiser, gently pushes back. She shows Dougie that he too is special. With V’s help, Dougie comes to understand that though he and V are very different, they are both innately unique m strong and beautiful. 

Sprinkled with delightful and surprising factoids about biodiversity, this spiritual journey teaches us about friendship, loss, and the cycles of life.  But above all, this is a book about the importance of self-love. 

It’s a picture book for children ages 4-8, but we believe that it would appeal to older kids and adults, too.  As for comps, Dougie and V shares qualities with many iconic titles. At its core, it is a playful and affirming text in the same vein as Marion Deuchars’ “Bob the Artist.” But it also includes witty asides that are both educational and fun, something akin to Julia Rothman’s “Nature Anatomy.” And finally, our greatest ambition is to edge towards the poignancy found in “The Giving Tree.” 

The Review

This was a moving and thoughtful picture book for children. The author expertly crafts a story that balances the importance of nature with the need for self-care and self-acceptance. The book showcases the struggles that children and adults alike constantly must battle, exploring the self-doubt and fears that constantly prevent us from being our most authentic self, and failing to recognize the heart of those doubts. 

The warm water colors of the illustrations and the fast-pace of the narrative allowed the reader to feel fully engaged in the story. The bond that Dougie and V develop together and the source of inspiration that V becomes to Dougie were great to see come to life on the page, and the investment in environmentalism was strongly felt through V’s lessons on every part of nature having a purpose and being beautiful within itself.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, thoughtful, and engaging, authors Carly Jo Carson and Ben Sharony’s “Dougie and V: The Story of a Flower and a Tree”, is a must-read children’s book. The heartfelt themes and messages throughout this book will resonate with parents and kids alike, and the full-circle moment that the ending provides makes this a compelling book to get lost in. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Authors

Carly Jo Carson and Ben Sharony have been best friends since they were twelve.
They are passionate about sharing stories of transformation and self-acceptance.

Carly is an artist, journey designer and mother of four.

Ben is a filmmaker and an uncle and godfather.

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