As always Smarty read a variety of books this week, but I want to try something different and limit my reviews to one “theme” if I can. We do usually have a theme going and now we are trying to tie it to something she is learning in school. In science they were learning more about trees, so I am going to highlight our favorite tree books that we found this week.
The Big Tree by Bruce Hiscock was an accidental library find. It is a nice cross between a fiction book and a non-fiction book, and Smarty picked up on it by exclaiming in the middle of the story, It’s the science book and a story book and a history book too. The book does weave different historic events into the story of an old maple tree, and it also includes a lot of scientific facts about the trees in general and maple trees in particular. The story is long, so I would say 5+ is a reasonable age for it.
Now let’s travel from New York to the Amazon Rainforest and read a gorgeously illustrated book by Lynne Cherry – The Great Kapok Tree. This is a fiction book, where various animals and a native child explains why their tree has to be spared by a logger who came to chop it up. Smarty said that the book is sad, and I agree with her. It is sad that Amazon Rainforest is in danger, and it also means that all of us are endangered as well.
We have Flowers and Trees from Child’s First Library of Learning set in our home library, so we looked up some questions about trees that Smarty found interesting, such as How Do Leaves Change Color? and How Big Do Trees Grow? Smarty was excited to learn that she has already seen the tallest trees in the world – we are lucky to live so close to them. We do like all the books from this series even though the order of the questions makes very little sense. It probably makes a lot of sense to my 4 year old though :)
I can’t resist to include Our Family Tree in the list of our tree books of the week. It has nothing (or very little) to do with trees. Since we are evolutionists, I was on lookout for a while for a good “introduction to evolution” books for children. Our Family Tree comes pretty close to what I was looking for, but it kind of fails to communicate the span of time it took to transform single cell organisms into human beings. It does have a timeline and some more details in the back of the book for older kids, so overall I do recommend this book for evolution-minded families.