Posts Tagged ‘life cycle of a tree’

Tremendous Trees! We Recommend Picture Books Celebrating Trees

Posted on September 20th, 2018 by Carolyn Hart

Picture books highlighting trees recommended by Storytime Standouts

Sharing a selection of picture books about trees has led to some wonderful discoveries. The books we write about are ones that were respectful of trees, some using them metaphorically. Often, they include references to the seasons and to the cycle of life.

Elsewhere on this site ~
Children’s books about the environment
Gardening Fun with Kids

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionnithe alphabet tree written and illustrated by Leo Lionni
Picture book about letters, words and a remarkable tree published by Dragonfly Books

A lovely tribute to the idea that there is strength in numbers. the alphabet tree opens with individual letters living happily in a large tree. When a very strong windstorm hits, some letters are blown out of the tree. The remaining letters retreat and huddle together. It is a word-bug that encourages the letters to work together to form words. Feeling stronger and more confident together, a caterpillar suggests forming phrases and, eventually, creating an important message for the president. An outstanding resource for encouraging print awareness, this picture book could also be interpreted as encouraging social or political activism.

The Alphabet Tree at Amazon.com

The Alphabet Tree at Amazon.ca


Leo's Tree by Debora Pearson and Nora HilbLeo’s Tree written by Debora Pearson and illustrated by Nora Hilb
Picture book about trees, seasons and family published by Annick Press

A lovely picture book to share with preschool-age children, Leo’s Tree begins when Leo’s parents plant a tree just after Leo is born. We watch as both the tree and the baby grow, changing through the seasons. Lovely watercolor illustrations follow Baby Leo, Toddler Leo and, eventually Big Brother Leo, playing nearby as the tree grows tall and strong. Gentle rhymes, repetitive text, and alliteration all contribute to a rich text that will appeal to young children.

Leo’s Tree at Amazon.com

Leo’s Tree at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Magnificent Tree by Nick Bland and Stephen Michael KingThe Magnificent Tree written by Nick Bland and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about problem solving and creativity published by Scholastic

Bonny and Pop love creating things. Bonny takes a simple, straightforward approach. Pop is less conventional. they would both love to have birds stop and stay for a while but, instead, they just fly past. Bonny and Pop agree that the solution is to make a tree. In keeping with their personalities, Bonny approaches the tree problem simply. By contrast, Pop makes an elaborate plan and works day and night. Finally, Pop’s creation is ready and, on the first day of Spring, dozens of birds check it out before landing in Bonny’s project.

An exuberant tribute to finding more than one way to approach a challenge. Fun illustrations have lots of details that will have a special appeal for tinkerers.

The Magnificent Tree at Amazon.com

The Magnificent Tree at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree by Anne Shelby and Cor HavelaarThe Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree by Anne Shelby and Cor Hazelaar
Tall Tale about a man who decides to live in a tree published by Simon Says Kids

Beautifully illustrated and richly told in a storyteller’s voice, it is easy to imagine hearing this tall tale while sitting fireside on a winter evening. Harlan Burch lived in Appalachia long ago. He worked as a carpenter and spent time in the woods, choosing trees for his projects. Apart from cutting trees down, he also planted them – replacing each one that he cut with two saplings. One day, he came across a sycamore that was so large, there was room enough inside for Harlan to create a comfortable home.

Not long after moving into the sycamore, something strange happened. It was as though time had stopped and reversed. Harlan became more and more youthful. He soon married and had a family. The family thrived and grew, eventually populating all of Appalachia.

The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree at Amazon.com

The Man Who Lived in a Hollow Tree at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts shares a selection of picture books about trees including Red Leaf, Yellow LeafRed Leaf, Yellow Leaf created by Lois Ehlert
Picture book about a Sugar Maple Tree published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Featuring dazzling collage illustrations, great for a group setting/read-aloud, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf shows readers real maple tree seeds (samaras), burlap, twine, wire, plant tags, and tree roots. Beautiful Fall colors are highlighted in the cover art and elsewhere in the book. The main text is large and tells the story of the origins of a maple tree, from the moment a seed falls in a forest through transfer to a garden center and eventual planting in a garden. In addition to showing readers the tree growing from seed to sprout to sapling, the illustrations also include unobtrusively labeled creatures that might live in and around a tree (squirrels, birds, earthworms) as well as other details that will promote learning.

A four-page appendix provides background information that will be helpful to young scientists and inquisitive researchers. An outstanding resource for kindergarten and primary-grade classrooms or for homeschool.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf at Amazon.com

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts highlights picture books about trees including Tess's Tree by Jess M. Brallier, pictures by Peter H. ReynoldsTess’s Tree written by Jess M. Brallier and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Children’s book about coming to terms with loss published by Harper Collins Children’s Books

Tess loves the tree in her yard. She loves to sit under it and read, she swings from it and, in Fall, she plays in the leaves beneath it. On dark, blowy night, two of the large branches are damaged and fall to the ground. There is no choice, the old tree must be taken down.

Tess’s emotions are strong. She is angry and sad. She knows that she must do something to honor the tree. She plans a funeral service to celebrate the life of her tree.

It is not long before Tess learns that the tree is not just hers. There are others for whom the tree was important.

Tess’s Tree provides an opportunity to explore important themes of love and loss with children. I have read some reviews that suggest that the story ought to have ended with Tess planting another tree. My personal perspective is that might be an obvious “solution” to Tess’s grief, in some ways, this particular tree was irreplaceable. Much like the loss of a friend, family member or pet, dealing with loss is not always as simple as finding a replacement.

Tess’s appears to be part of a single parent family.

Tess’s Tree at Amazon.com

Tess’s Tree at Amazon.ca


Free, Printable Tree-Theme Writing Paper for Home and Classroom

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree with bluebird

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree including roots

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid

Posted on November 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid.Picture a Tree – written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Picture book about trees published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada


You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Marvelous Plasticine illustrations may initially distract young readers from the thought-provoking text in Picture a Tree. Using a combination of Plasticine and paint, Ms. Reid has created beautiful, richly detailed images of trees and the variety of people living, working and playing near them.

Readers are encouraged to notice how trees, whether enormous or freshly planted, change through the year, how various creatures dwell in trees and how the life cycle of a tree can be viewed metaphorically. A variety of perspectives are also shown as Ms. Reid illustrates shadows of trees, more than one reflection and the view from above a forest of trees.

You may see a drawing on the sky. A game of dress-up. The first drops of colour then all the art supplies at once.

Simply beautiful, Picture a Tree is sure to inspire young artists and encourage environmental awareness. It is suitable for children aged four and up.

Update June 19, 2012 – Picture a Tree has been nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

Picture a Tree at Amazon.com

Picture a Tree at Amazon.ca

Note, this is one of several YouTube videos that feature Barbara Reid and her artwork. Check her website or YouTube for additional resources.

We Planted a Tree and Made a Difference to the Environment

Posted on April 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Are you aware of the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign?
It is a campaign that encourages people all over the world to plant trees that are indigenous and appropriate to our own environments. By the end of 2009, more than seven billion trees had been planted in more than one hundred seventy countries.

One cannot overstate the value of trees to our very existence. Trees and forests contribute to our health, wealth, food and fuel supplies as well as air, soil and water quality and climate stability. Today’s post pulls together some resources related to trees and the campaign to plant them.

Be sure to visit our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more
. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Beginning with a bright, cheerful introduction to trees and what they do for our world:

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book, We Planted a TreeWe Planted a Tree – written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake



Young families in Brooklyn, New York and in Africa each plant a tree. As their trees grow, this inventive and beautiful picture book takes us to visit beautiful trees budding in Toyko and gorgeous bright, pink blossoms in Paris.

“The sun kept shining.
The pink blossoms dropped off,
But soon there were green leaves,
Green, green shiny leaves,
Which had food inside for the tree.

This joyous celebration of trees and the impact of planting just one, highlights that they can be a source of food and shade, they help to clean our air and they can prevent soil erosion. As well, readers learn that trees are home to birds and animals.

We Planted a Tree at Amazon.com

We Planted a Tree at Amazon.ca

This picture book connects nicely with Green Belt Movement Kenya. The mission of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) is to mobilize community consciousness- using tree planting as an entry point – for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation.

For additional information about tree planting, check out The Green Wave, The Green Wave is a multi-year global campaign that enables children and youth to make a difference – one school, one tree, one step at a time. The Green Wave brings together children and youth from around the world to raise awareness about biodiversity, and the need to reduce its loss.

The United Nation’s Billion Tree Campaign a worldwide tree planting initiative facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. People, communities, businesses, industry, civil society organizations and governments are encouraged to enter tree planting pledges on-line. The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment.

Plant a Tree Today (PATT) Foundation works to raise awareness of global environmental issues, campaign for better environmental practices and take action against deforestation and climate change by planting trees.


Loving this picture book, A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma

Posted on February 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

 A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma reviewed by Storytime StandoutsA Grand Old Tree written and illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma

“Once there was a grand old tree. Her roots sank deep into the earth, her arms reached high into the sky. She was home to many creatures.”

Lovingly written and illustrated, A Grand Old TreeA Grand Old Tree is a great picture books that explores the seasons, the life cycle of a tree and includes a concrete poem is a wonderful tribute to an aging fruit tree. We watch as squirrels scamper, birds chirp and bees buzz in the branches of the tree. Through the seasons, we witness her bloom and produce seeds to blow from her branches. We consider how many leaves she has produced.

One moonlit winter night, she falls. Snow covers her weary trunk and branches. When spring arrives, we can see her offspring growing nearby and we know her decaying trunk is still home to raccoons, insects and lichen. We appreciate her legacy and understand that her children and grandchildren are now growing, flowering, and sowing.

Both informative and quietly reassuring, this is a picture book children will enjoy again and again.

Note: there is a concrete poem (the text is printed to represent the trunk of a tree) in the book.

Teaching suggestions from the author’s website

A Grand Old Tree at Amazon.com

A Grand Old Tree at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting
picture books about caring for our environment,
ecosystems, recycling,
reducing our environmental footprint and more
.
Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


Storytime Standouts offers interlined paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree with bluebird

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Tree including roots

Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.



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