May 16, 2013

Love a Tree- Today and Every Day!

Sometimes it's best not to fight Mother Nature. Or social media, for that matter.
I was planning to post a piece about the incredible book below later this month, but decided to shift gears and get it out today, just in time for "Love-a-Tree Day". This is yet another example of a worthy designation of a themed day, week, or month. But, (and regular readers have my permission to roll their eyes at this point) I've stated my reasons for being less than enamored with this approach, especially when it comes to sharing quality picture books.
But some days the signs are too strong to ignore and you gotta cry uncle.
So, this mid-week post started when I read Cathy's HUMOR ME post about this special day, including quick notes and links to several of my favorite books about trees. (Some who know me personally might spot one title in her list about which my strong feelings are not really positive, but it shall remain a mystery, since I know it is a beloved favorite of many.) 

Albert Whitman & Company, 2013
Then I read Beth's comment on Cathy's post recommending the recent release, PICTURE A TREE, by incredibly talented author and illustrator, Barbara Reid

Just last week I was drafting a post about this book while I was lucky enough to have it from the library, but I took this as a sign that posting it today was "meant to be", as they say. 

For starters, I hope you'll go to the link to Barbara's website before reading any further. Regardless of the content, Reid's signature plasticine constructs/illustrations create visual storytelling at its best. In this case, each double page spread, including the end papers, develops a story far beyond the few words on the page. This is one of those priceless selections offering something for every age and purpose, beginning with sheer enjoyment. It can also serve as mentor text for figurative language, especially metaphor. It's the kind of book that will be reread/re-examined time after time. And for those countless kiddies who adore "search" books, this is an ideal alternative.

Once I resigned myself to posting this today I was waiting to complete some gardening and errands. During that time I caught snippets of three different public radio programs dealing with trees, deforestation/climate change, and urban forests. I headed for the keyboard and started putting this together before Smoky Bear came knocking at my door.

But for those who might have missed my weekend post, I'm linking here. My radio monitoring (which obviously sustains me throughout the day) also revealed that over in Madison, Wisconsin the legislature is following up their legalization of wolf hunting by proposing that the cost of buying a license be reduced. I won't even think about debating the rightness or wrongness of hunting wolves in this venue, but I would like to think that making it "cheaper" to do so is a less desirable choice than using proceeds from the existing license fees to monitor the wolf population for precipitous reductions. 
Dutton Juvenile, 2008

So here's my mid-week, theme-based Love-A-Tree Day post. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on PICTURE A TREE. You won't regret it.


  1. Hmm...methinks trees are getting TWO special days since there is also Arbor Day in the fall.

    But that's OK - I like trees and all the book recommendations are wonderful!

  2. Cathy, I agree about both the books and the trees! Your reaction goes to my slight "cringe" every time a themed day, week, or month is announced and celebrated. In each case (or in most- not so sure Goth Day-May 22, or Tiara Day-May 24- really require more than one day of attention, if that) the designations tend to be one-offs with our attention rapidly returning to other things. For example, today, May 17, is Endangered Species Day. I have to ask myself how much good one day (or one month, for Black History, Women's History, or Hispanic Heritage) will do if it gives us permission to snap our blinders narrowing our vision back to routine matters for the rest of the year.
    My apologies for climbing up on my soapbox just because you were kind enough to stop by and celebrate trees with me!


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