Trillions of Trees: A Counting and Planting Book

Holt. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250229076.
PreS-K–This rhyming story playfully melds an often ignored counting concept—a trillion—with the importance of tree planting and preservation, while also introducing a great number of tree species to a young audience. After a miscommunicated phone call order for a “a trillium, please” becomes an order for a trillion trees from a tree farm, a shocked brother and sister partner with their parents, friends, neighbors, and volunteers, young and old, to plant a surprise shipment of one thousand trees. The story’s illustrations are key to shaping the detailed beauty of the trees themselves and the idea of a trillion, a difficult quantity for kindergartens and first graders to conceive, into a concrete form as the characters plant different species of trees throughout their community, from their front yard to parks to riverbanks, fields, and slopes. Cyrus cleverly portrays how a thousand trees would occupy the open spaces in their respective habitats, as well as the responsibilities of the planters. Like Billions of Bricks, the story’s catchy, upbeat vibe reflects hard but necessary work, while the quick pace and energetic rhyme scheme both fascinates and instructs its young listeners about caring for trees. The full, painterly illustrations provide a rich experience of sweeping perspectives of the different landscapes in which specific tree types are planted.
VERDICT Illustrated with vibrant natural vistas to amplify quick, upbeat rhymes, Cyrus beckons early elementary readers to a newfound sense of the immensity and importance of trees in the world.

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