This is the Tree We Planted

Knopf. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525579472.
PreS-K–Adopting the pattern of the song “There Was A Tree”/“The Green Grass Grows All Around,” the young group of narrators—children who have a range of skin colors, as well as gender expression—observe all of the life (and death) occurring in the oak tree they planted. They see a nest with eggs, a squirrel and its kits, various birds, insects, and a lizard. Friend uses perspective creatively in her mixed media illustrations, sometimes taking the children’s point of view, sometimes looking down at their upturned faces from the treetop. As the story builds, the leaves change from green to fall colors, and day turns to dusk; the final endpapers show more young trees beyond the original oak, suggesting that each is equally full of life.
VERDICT Repetitive language with some rhyme, together with the nature theme, make this a good choice for story hours or for kindergarten classrooms.

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