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
the 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.
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.
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.
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.
Red 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.
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.
Free, Printable Tree-Theme Writing Paper for Home and Classroom
Writing paper for kids - Tree with bluebird
Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.
Writing paper for kids - Tree including roots
Tree theme interlined paper for beginning writers.