Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva (My Father Was In the Jungle) is an easy book to return once you’re finished with it. Just dig a hole, plant it in the ground and watch it grow into a tree.
The remarkable children’s book is handmade and printed on recycled, acid-free paper, using biodegradable ink, with jacaranda seeds embedded in the pulp of its pages. Buenos Aires, Argentina-based publisher Pequeño Editor created Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva as part of Tree Book Tree, an initiative meant to inspire youngsters everywhere to take an interest in books and the environment—a tall order, to be sure, but what a beautiful way to go about it.
Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva was written by Gusti, a world-renowned Argentine illustrator, and illustrated by a French illustrator named Anne Decis. Gusti drew from his childhood experiences in writing the story, which is narrated by a young boy named Théo who recounts his father’s adventures in the Ecuadorian jungle. The book is meant for children between the ages of 8 and 12, says Mental Floss.
Bookstores around Argentina have displayed Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva in their store windows, offering passersby a look at the first book ever printed that can be planted.
You can read an excerpt of Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva here and buy the book here or here. Watch the video below to learn more about how it’s made.