Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: We Planted a Tree

by Diane Muldrow
ill. Bob Staake

This book follows, in verse, the growing up of a tree, and the impact on the world around it. As it helps clean the air, provide food, prevent erosion, and improve the soil, it helps people plant other things to feed themselves. It feeds and shelters animals, too, and makes the world better all around.

The illustrations move around the world showing these positive influences in many different settings, too, from cities to rural areas, from Brooklyn to Japan to Africa. This celebration of trees and their importance makes for a great read aloud, in language that doubles back and repeats in places, with a lovely rhythm.

I must admit that the obviously computer-drawn illustrations are not my favourite style - but I also think that is in most cases a matter of taste, and they are jaunty and upbeat enough not to detract from the text, but rather just not add to it in the way I would have enjoyed. It's a terrific read aloud for a group or a child in kindergarten or lower grades, so I wouldn't let my own taste put me off from sharing it.

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