Friday, March 28, 2014

Picture a Tree

Reid, Barbara. 2013. PICTURE A TREE. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company. ISBN 9780807565261 [Suggested Grade Levels P-2]

Reid’s beautiful picture book celebrates the beauty of trees in our lives and displays the various ways trees are depicted in art and imagination. Children will enjoy picturing a tree as “a pirate ship, a bear cave, a clubhouse, a friend” and many other roles. The author encourages readers to picture trees in new and unexpected ways like “a game of dress-up” or “a wild good-bye party.”

Children will enjoy Reid’s signature Plasticine artwork. The vivid layers and textures capture the trees’ details and characters’ expressions well. Bold colors add excitement and enhance each unique picture. Readers will want to spend time appreciating all the details of the art. Endpapers of patchwork trees are also a nice touch. They feature depictions of trees in all seasons and immediately draw readers into the story and add to the complete design of the book. Children will be inspired to get their art materials when they read the last line, “picture a tree, what do you see?”

Use this picture book as a springboard for art projects and Arbor Day celebrations. Children can create their own pictures of trees with a variety of materials and write poetry describing their unique vision of a tree. Collect all the pictures to create a group book for read alouds or display.

Similar tree-themed books for young children:
Ehlert, Lois. RED LEAF, YELLOW LEAF. ISBN 9780152661977
Krishnaswami, Uma. OUT OF THE WAY! OUT OF THE WAY! ISBN 9781554981304
Matheson, Christie. TAP THE MAGIC TREE. ISBN 9780062274458
Muldrow, Diane. WE PLANTED A TREE. ISBN 9780375864322

By Kimberly C. Kinnaird

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