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Summary: A young boy finds a book about redwood trees sitting on the seat of the subway. He reads it on his way home and imagines himself at the places the book describes. After his adventures in the pages of the book, he leaves the book on a park bench for another child to pick up and read. This is a picture book that illustrates just how much you can get into a book.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, early reader
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Reading Level: 5.6
Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter enjoyed this book. She liked how the redwood forest took over his thinking even though he was just making his way home. She enjoyed the very life like pictures of everything the book was talking about. She wanted me to re-read some of the pages, as there was lots of information on each one. She also asked me quite a few times if "this" place was really real.
Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the book and read it for myself again later. The story offers lots of good information written in an useful way. I was surprised she liked it so much as it was a pretty detailed book. The pictures are what makes the book!
Pros: Beautiful illustrations and an imaginative story show kids what they can do with a book. The book is filled with wonderful information about the Redwoods written in a way that interests kids.
Cons: Sometimes the information felt like it was too much for a kid's book. The children are never named; for kids who need that person-to-person connection, you may want to give them names.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a must have for libraries and school classrooms. It is a beautiful book that you'll enjoy as an adult, too.
Educational Themes: This book makes it easy to see how powerful a story can be, just by watching the boy's imagination and transformation. Engage kids in thinking about other books that give them that feeling. There is a lot of detailed facts about redwoods, too.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, nature, fantasy
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2009
Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at barnesandnoble.com; and reader feedback at amazon.com.