STEM Friday #Kidlit Stretch to the Sun

Let’s celebrate nature with the picture book Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson and illustrated by  Susan Swan.

How do you start a story about the tallest tree in the world? If you’re Carrie Pearson, you start it with a bang!

Creak! Crack! Kaboom!
A giant tree falls, broken,
and the forest floor trembles.

And with that dramatic event comes the opening needed for another tree to be born, one that will live over 1200 years and grow to about 380 feet tall. That’s about as tall as a 35 story building. Amazing!

Susan Swan’s illustrations are equally amazing. She used Adobe Photoshop to create collages of found objects and hand painted papers that are enthralling. The trees are the central characters, of course, but she also features many animals of the Redwood National Park, giving young readers hidden treasures to search for on every page.

Other highlights include a surprise single gate-fold spread that helps emphasize the height of this magnificent tree.

The back matter shines as well. Besides an Author’s Note that explains how the book came about, there are many remarkable facts about coast redwoods, a bibliography, as well as information about where you can learn more and what you can do to help preserve redwoods.

Stretch to the Sun is a one-of-a-kind book about a one-of-a-kind tree. It will thrill young nature lovers. Get lost in a copy today!

Activity Suggestions:

1. Visit Carrie Pearson’s website for resources including an activity and discussion guide, NGSS standards, and a fun trailer for the book.

2.  Learn how to measure the height of a tree in the second activity from this previous post (scroll down.)

3. Visit our tree category here at the blog for many more posts.

4. Want to read more? Try our growing list of children’s books about trees at Science Books for Kids.





Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge; Illustrated edition (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1580897711
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1580897716


Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher. 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.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.


  1. Carrie A. Pearson

    Many thanks on behalf of the book team for this thoughtful review. We continue to be inspired by these magnificent trees!

  2. Roberta

    You are so welcome. It was joy to read.

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