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Author: Paul Kay, Jr.

Illustrator: Paul Kay, Jr.

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Publisher: Vantage Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: If trees could talk, what would they say? They'd tell us all about themselves and how they are an integral part of our world. They have roots in the ground, branches for us to climb in, make shade and fresh air for us. They come in many shapes and have different shaped leaves that fall in the autumn. This picture book also attempts to correlate the lives of trees to people's lives: they both have roots and times of the year when we display our colors (4th of July vs. Autumn leaves, etc.).

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together 3 to 6; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 6

Age of Child: Read with two boys, ages 2 and 4.

Young Reader Reaction: My children liked the book and the colorful pictures. We were able to make some connections to our lives. The number of words on each page is just right for the toddler/preschool audience. We read it once, but they did not want to read it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the parts about the trees, but overall I did not like this book. The rhyming felt forced and the correlations that were drawn between trees and humans were a bit far-fetched, unnatural, awkward and unnecessary. The story seemed disjointed overall from an adult standpoint. If you can stick to the sentences about trees and skip the parts about people, this has a much more focused and positive message, and an educational one at that.

Pros: Through this book you can share good information about the lives of trees and their impact on our world/environment.

Cons: The abstract connections between the lives of trees and the lives of people were too abstract and a bit of a stretch for this audience to take advantage of. The connections were both awkward and unnatural. Perhaps it would be a better discussion-starter for K-2.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I would almost skip this book, but if you can substitute your own text, you could make it work.


Educational Themes: If you want to introduce the life cycle of trees in a story format, this would be a book for that.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, rhyme, nature, ecology

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2013

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reader feedback at


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