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Be a Tree!

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An illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and res An illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together.


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An illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and res An illustrated look at the majesty of trees—and what humans can learn from them Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun. Be a tree! We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun. And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together.

30 review for Be a Tree!

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Burnap

    Perfect for learning about the interconnectedness of trees (and people)! A lovely book to share with a classroom and/or family members. Terrific backmatter to encourage readers to get involved in the conservation of trees. 💚💙🤎

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peacegal

    Pretty and inspiring book that both educates young readers about trees and suggests ways they can help and support those around them--much like the way a forest operates.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen Arendt

    Very interesting book! This made me look at trees in a whole new way- as a family that takes care of each other!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I love trees but this book was a little heavy-handed for me. In an effort to promote conservation and respect for the world of trees, it compares trees to humans and launches into some deep, passionate text that may be a little over children's heads. There was some interesting information and the illustrations are beautiful. I love trees but this book was a little heavy-handed for me. In an effort to promote conservation and respect for the world of trees, it compares trees to humans and launches into some deep, passionate text that may be a little over children's heads. There was some interesting information and the illustrations are beautiful.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I wrote a poem about a tree this past week for Poetry Friday and found another blogger who shared his favorite books about trees, not only for children but for adults, too. One of those is the new book by Lita Judge, The Wisdom of Trees that I shared last month. And now, this marvelous book is out by Maria Gianferrari about being a tree, knowledge of trees, yes, but also about being a human! With diverse children and adults, Felicita Sala illustrates many science-based concepts that Maria conne I wrote a poem about a tree this past week for Poetry Friday and found another blogger who shared his favorite books about trees, not only for children but for adults, too. One of those is the new book by Lita Judge, The Wisdom of Trees that I shared last month. And now, this marvelous book is out by Maria Gianferrari about being a tree, knowledge of trees, yes, but also about being a human! With diverse children and adults, Felicita Sala illustrates many science-based concepts that Maria connects to humans. For example, "Be a tree! Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun." As the pages move along, included are double-page spreads showing the tree, one showing it 'down' in order to demonstrate the heartwood and rings. Every imaginable part is covered, included the diversity, like humans, too. A fold-out feels like a mural masterpiece. I wish it could be painted on a wall somewhere. I'd love to quote the ending, but more than that, I want you the readers to experience it yourselves. Lots of backmatter completes the book with an author's note, how to help save trees, how to help forests in the community, a detailed 'map' of a tree's parts, further reading and websites. Felicita Sala offers another extra, leaves painted and identified on the endcovers. It is a gorgeous book, another to add to your collection.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    From their heights, the world spreads before us. (Even when we get stuck at the tip top and have to ask for help getting down.) When a slight breeze blows, walking among rows of evergreens planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps is like strolling through whispers of angels, a gift from heaven. Leaning against the trunk of a single tree can strengthen you; the tree lends you resolve and resilience. Most of all trees hold memories. With the passing of my sweet Xena, now almost six years ago, two From their heights, the world spreads before us. (Even when we get stuck at the tip top and have to ask for help getting down.) When a slight breeze blows, walking among rows of evergreens planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps is like strolling through whispers of angels, a gift from heaven. Leaning against the trunk of a single tree can strengthen you; the tree lends you resolve and resilience. Most of all trees hold memories. With the passing of my sweet Xena, now almost six years ago, two kind-hearted author friends give me a tree with a metal label, Xena's Tree. That tree and label have traveled with me in multiple moves. It is now joined by five other trees, one for each year she has been gone. I am so comforted by the sight of those trees when a dear author friend lost her beloved dog companion, I did the same for her. Trees freely give to all around them, representing more than we can at first imagine. BE A TREE! (Abrams Books for Young Readers, March 30, 2021) written by Maria Gianferrari with illustrations by Felicita Sala is a lyrical declaration in words and art about the immeasurable worth of trees. It explores the similarities between trees and humans, offering us a pathway to be our best selves. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ellon

    I wanted to like this more than I actually ended up liking it. The metaphor is a bit heavy handed and drawn out. The illustrations are fantastic though and there is a lot of information about trees. I was a little confused about the inclusion of the "immigrant tree." I understand it from the comparison of humans to trees and how we should include immigrants but I feel like it doesn't quite work with plants because when plants/trees that are not native to an area are introduced, it can harm the e I wanted to like this more than I actually ended up liking it. The metaphor is a bit heavy handed and drawn out. The illustrations are fantastic though and there is a lot of information about trees. I was a little confused about the inclusion of the "immigrant tree." I understand it from the comparison of humans to trees and how we should include immigrants but I feel like it doesn't quite work with plants because when plants/trees that are not native to an area are introduced, it can harm the ecosystem and I feel like that is definitely NOT the message that the author is trying to make about immigrants.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie Reilley

    I am in love with this beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated picture book that showcases the wonder and majesty of trees. The end pages hold sketches and labels of varying tree leaves. The lyrical text shows how humans and trees are alike. And the stunning illustrations remind readers of the beauty found in nature. Back matter includes an author’s note, ways readers can help save trees and help others in their community, and a diagram with labeled description of the anatomy of a tree. Perf I am in love with this beautifully written, gorgeously illustrated picture book that showcases the wonder and majesty of trees. The end pages hold sketches and labels of varying tree leaves. The lyrical text shows how humans and trees are alike. And the stunning illustrations remind readers of the beauty found in nature. Back matter includes an author’s note, ways readers can help save trees and help others in their community, and a diagram with labeled description of the anatomy of a tree. Perfect for Earth Day, Arbor Day, or an any day read aloud!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    This is such a beautiful book. The artwork is gorgeous. And the language is poetic and soothing. On one level, there's a lot to learn about trees. But on another, it's a reflection on how we are similar to trees, as individuals and as part of our communities. With so much emphasis on social-emotional learning in school right now, there are plenty of lessons in here. Some of the vocabulary is more advanced, but for younger kids around 4 or 5 the illustrations will fill in the gaps. And I love the This is such a beautiful book. The artwork is gorgeous. And the language is poetic and soothing. On one level, there's a lot to learn about trees. But on another, it's a reflection on how we are similar to trees, as individuals and as part of our communities. With so much emphasis on social-emotional learning in school right now, there are plenty of lessons in here. Some of the vocabulary is more advanced, but for younger kids around 4 or 5 the illustrations will fill in the gaps. And I love the title. BE A TREE!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This lyrical, extended metaphor encourages the reader to BE A TREE. Forest ecology and recent scientific understandings unfold as children are seen playing in and around trees on every stunning spread. Humans can learn a lot from trees. The strength, community, and interdependence of forests are not so different from us after all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krysti Stellway

    Gorgeous illustrations highlight how humans and trees are more alike than we tend to think. From the structure of a tree with a trunk like a spine and bark like skin to the dynamics of forests and the way trees communicate and support each other’s growth being akin to the way communities function this book is a wonderful new perspective on the humanity in nature and the nature in humanity.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I'm not normally a big fan of books that use metaphores, especially for little readers. But Gianferrari does a marvelous job here. The metaphore is easy to follow, and the book allows opportunities for discussion (I liked the part about the tree's roots). I'm not normally a big fan of books that use metaphores, especially for little readers. But Gianferrari does a marvelous job here. The metaphore is easy to follow, and the book allows opportunities for discussion (I liked the part about the tree's roots).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I received a free reader's advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. A wonderful look at seeing ourselves as trees - what they're made of, how they function, and the importance of the community of their ecosystems. I received a free reader's advance copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. A wonderful look at seeing ourselves as trees - what they're made of, how they function, and the importance of the community of their ecosystems.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Creative Warrior

    Hi there! I've seen your work and I'd like to commend you for having such talent and imagination. Your works of art shouldn't be limited and should be recognized by many. Maybe you'd like to check out N0velStar and consider joining their competition. Hi there! I've seen your work and I'd like to commend you for having such talent and imagination. Your works of art shouldn't be limited and should be recognized by many. Maybe you'd like to check out N0velStar and consider joining their competition.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Molly Cluff (Library!)

    I really loved the deep color palette used here. The illustrations of the trees were very calming and lush. This book may be best for older kids rather than littles, but even then I didn't quite get when the text shifted from talking about forests of trees to communities of people. I really loved the deep color palette used here. The illustrations of the trees were very calming and lush. This book may be best for older kids rather than littles, but even then I didn't quite get when the text shifted from talking about forests of trees to communities of people.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This simple book was a great and timely reminder for me. We, like trees, do better together. We were built for community and need each other. If we lived like trees, this world would be a better place. I also love the art in this book. Good read for anyone at any age.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    Terrific illustrations, both beautiful and informative. I think this book would be great for a yoga storytime, or an arbor day celebration.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Awesome language. Theme of connection is subtle and explicit! Rich back matter. Really trippy (in a good way) illustrations. Adore this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krissy Neddo

    2.5 Was just okay. Lyrical, poetic and a comparison that is best for older students. Not sure K-3 will like this as much as adults.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I love a good metaphor, but the one in this one got too convoluted for me in this one. It's a beautiful book, but my daughter kept asking when it was going to end. I love a good metaphor, but the one in this one got too convoluted for me in this one. It's a beautiful book, but my daughter kept asking when it was going to end.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I love the illustrations and the overall message but some of the text didn't quite work for me. I love the illustrations and the overall message but some of the text didn't quite work for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angelina

    3.5 stars Beautiful illustrations but the text was a bit too abstract at times, although there is also quite a lot of info about trees.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Beautiful and educational! I liked it! A bit too abstract at times for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Mcavoy

    3 1/2 stars. Beautiful and a nice message, but no real story there.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    I like the art.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Charley Brown

    Beautiful and interesting! I learned new things about trees!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria McGrath

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eva

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