In December of 1999, the Pacific Lumber Company and Julia Butterfly Hill signed an agreement to protect Luna and the surrounding grove. Sanctuary Forest, a nonprofit organization whose primary focus is land and water restoration and conservation, became entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the Luna preserve in perpetuity. On December 18, 1999, after 738 days, Julia climbed down from Luna’s arms. Since then, she has spent more than fifteen years as an inspirational speaker, teaching people about the environment and how to help preserve the earth for future generations.
Julia Butterfly Hill’s peaceful activism and dedication to serving our earth inspires me deeply. After reading her memoir, The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods, I knew I wanted to make a picture book that would bring her courageous story to children. Her message is simple: each and every one of us can make a difference. I chose to tell of Julia’s time in Luna in my own way—simplifying a very complex, intense, and political journey and depicting her as a girl. The essence of Julia’s story remains; it is a story of strength, endurance, teamwork, commitment, and love. Luna still stands to this day as a beacon of hope for the ancient forests, and Julia made that possible.
While working on the book, I had the opportunity to spend an enchanting day at the base of Luna, listening to many stories from Luna’s caretaker, Stuart Moskowitz. My family and I camped in the redwoods—breathing deeply, lying on the forest floor, painting, and playing with banana slugs. Luna and the Redwood Forest fueled my illustrations with detail and magic.
A portion of my earnings from this book will be donated to Sanctuary Forest for Luna’s continued care. For more information, or to donate to Sanctuary Forest, visit sanctuaryforest.org.