FICTION
Poetree
illus. by Shahrzad Maydani. 32p. Dial. Mar. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399539121.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 2—A quiet and warm book that celebrates the power of poetry, nature, and friendship. After Sylvia leaves a poem tied to a birch tree at the beginning of spring, "hoping that it didn't count as littering if it made the world more splendid," she is shocked to discover a new poem waiting for her when she next passes by. She believes the tree has written her back and is "her new leafy friend." Soon Sylvia is daydreaming about the tree and composing a beautiful haiku in the tree's honor. When she finally realizes that a boy in her class named Walt, who has made fun of her at school, actually wrote the poems, she is unbearably sad. As Walt and Sylvia try to come to terms with the realization that the tree cannot write poetry, they also make the first tentative steps toward a new friendship based on their mutual love of words and the birch tree. The language is lyrical and sweet, and the soft pastel-colored illustrations perfectly match the tone of the story.
VERDICT A beautiful tale that celebrates friendship, lovely words, and glorious nature.

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