Arbor Day is coming up April 28, 2023. Looking for ways to participate? Consider reading the new picture book, Rise to the Sky: How the World’s Tallest Trees Grow Up by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Mia Posada as part of your celebration.

The book starts with a simple question:  What are the tallest living things? Do you know? If you guessed trees, then you are right.

Next are a series of illustrations that show visually how tall some of the biggest trees are. Unlike Mia Posada’s eye-catching illustrations in Plant’s Can’t Sit Still, this time she uses cut paper collage to compare big trees to some man-made structures.

Young readers will then discover how trees get so big. Starting with a seed, trees use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide from the air to grow, grow, grow. The text is a straightforward introduction to such concepts as photosynthesis, capillary action, and the stages of the life cycle of trees.


Back matter includes further information about parts of trees (leaves, roots, trunk, etc.) and tree growth as well as information about where the world’s tallest trees live, two activities, and suggestions for further reading.

Rise Up to the Sky will appeal to budding arborists and nature lovers alike.  Perfect to accompany units on life cycles and plants, or to prepare for a trip to see redwoods. And, don’t forget to share a copy for Arbor Day.

Related Activity Suggestions:

1. Plant a tree for Arbor Day or any day. Preferably choose trees that grow naturally in your area and make sure they have plenty of room to reach their mature height.

2. Huge trees start from small seeds. Take a walk and look for tree seeds.  Check our Seed Photo Archive for examples.

An acorn is a seed of an oak

A pine seed germinating

3. Download a free teacher’s guide with activities at Lerner.

More Tree Science Activity Suggestions (From This Blog):

    1. Tree Transpiration
    2. How far does the water have to travel from roots to top of the tree?

Want to find more great books like this one? Visit our giant, redwood-sized list of tree books for kids.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 10 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Millbrook Press ™ (April 4, 2023)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728440874
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728440873

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