There have been a forest of new picture books coming out this spring, but a few stand taller than the rest. One of these is Be a Tree! by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Felicita Sala.
The book is hard to categorize.
First the author grabs the young readers with a gentle second person narrative, making them feel like they are a tree.
Stretch your branches to the sun.
Let your roots coil in the soil to ground you.
Half way through, the point of view shifts to first person plural, the voice of the trees.
Our roots twine with fungi,
joining all trees of the forest together.
In the last spread, it all comes together, urging us to care for one another.
Felicita Sala’s illustrations are fascinating. Some of the trees are simple and sturdy. Others are complex, swirling fractals.
The back matter includes an “Author’s Note”, “Five Ways You Can Help Save Trees”, suggestions for ways you can help your own community, two page spread showing the “Anatomy of a Tree”, and lists of books and websites for finding out more.
Overall, this is a one-of-a-kind book. It is likely to inspire thoughtful conversations as well as wonder about trees. In fact, it just might help young readers grow. Plant a seed today with Be a Tree!
- Great activities based on Be a Tree! to download for free at Curious City
- Project Learning Tree’s To Be A Tree activity
- Previous tree science for children post
- Check out our growing list of children’s books about trees at Science Books for Kids.
- Love trees? You will enjoy this animated video CityTrees: Partners in Breathing at Vimeo.
Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : Harry N. Abrams (March 30, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1419744224
ISBN-13 : 978-1419744228
Disclosure: The book was supplied by my local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.