Three Tree Books

To wrap up our month devoted to learning about trees, we have three older books to consider.

Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber, and illustrated by Holly Keller, is part of the popular Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out-Science series. be-a-friend-to-treesThe emphasis of this book is how useful trees are. Starting with products and foods we use that come from trees, Lauber then devotes several pages to how many animals need trees for food and homes. Finally she moves to less concrete benefits of trees, such as holding soil and water, and producing oxygen. The last three pages are devoted to simple ideas of how you can be a friend to trees through activities like recycling and planting a tree.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Collins; Revised edition (January 30, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0064451208
ISBN-13: 978-0064451208

tell-me-treeWe are huge fans of Gail Gibbons, so of course we picked up her book Tell Me, Tree. We were not disappointed. Gibbons has a huge talent for presenting a wealth of information so simply and logically that you finish the book astonished at all you have learned, whether you are a child or an adult. Starting out with general information abut parts of trees, such as seeds, leaves, bark and roots, Gibbons emphasizes identifying trees. She illustrates the overall shape, leaves and bark of sixteen different trees (although she also identifies leaves and trees throughout the earlier pages as well.) At the end she shows how to make your own tree identification book with pressed leaves, and leaf and bark rubbings. The last page is full of unusual and interesting facts about trees, sure to entice children to want to find out more.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316309036
ISBN-13: 978-0316309035

Last, but certainly not least we have A Tree is Growing by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by S.D. Schindler.A-tree-is-growing

This book is suitable for a slightly older audience. The text is a bit more complex and detailed, as it follows an oak tree through the seasons. Along the way are interesting sidebars of other species. Did you know that baobab trees store water in their trunks and actually swell up? I knew saguaros could do that, but not other trees.

When you first open the book, you might be surprised by the darker paper background and more subdued look of the illustrations. It is not the glaring primary colors of a board book. If you stay with it, however, you will begin to realize how the illustrations really capture the actual hues and tones of nature. Schindler’s renderings of tree bark are particularly amazing.

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (April 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0590453009
ISBN-13: 978-0590453004

I’m sure you will find each of these books are “tree-rific.”


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Shelf-Employed.

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