On This Tree Counts!

I have had trees on the brain lately. Probably because this was my backyard a few months ago:

A huge windstorm blew down the one and only tree in our backyard. We were grateful that it didn’t hit the house on its way down, but were sad to lose our source of shade, especially considering how hot it gets here in the summer. So we have spent the last few months procrastinating researching the types of trees that we might want to replace it with. When we moved here almost 8 years ago, we talked about planting other trees, but never did. We considered planting an avocado tree, but were told it takes seven years to produce fruit. I thought that surely we would have moved on by the time SEVEN WHOLE YEARS! had rolled around. But life happened, the housing market did what it did, and we are still here. I can’t help but think of all the guacamole I could be enjoying if we had just planted that tree.

So that leads me to this week’s Perfect Picture Book about guacamole. Wait. I mean, TREES!

THIS TREE COUNTS!

    • Published By: Albert Whitman & Company (March 1, 2010)
    • Suitable For: Pre-K and up
    • Topics/Themes: Caring for the Environment, Community, Cooperation, Counting
    • Opening/Synopsis:  “Only one tree stood behind Oak Lane School. It needed friends. So Mr. Tate’s class decided to plant more trees. The children got ready to dig. Mr. Tate said, ‘Wait! Our big tree has a story to tell.'”
    • from jacketflap: “If you listen carefully to the lone tree behind Oak Lane School, it has a story to tell, about… one owl, two spiders, three squirrels, four robins, five caterpillars, six ants, seven crickets, eight flies, nine ladybugs, and ten earthworms, all living safe and free in their tree home. What does this tree need? The children know-it needs friends!”
    • Links to Resources: Ashley Formento has a beautiful, 18-page Teacher’s Guide for this book on her website. The Arbor Day Foundation also has an amazing website with lots of ideas on how to connect kids to nature. Or you could just take your kids outside to observe the things they can count on the trees in your yard!
    • What I like about this book: The double meaning of the word “counts” in this book’s title is so clever. You get a book that expresses how much trees matter and their importance to our environment. But you also get a counting book, and my kids enjoyed finding each of the creatures that call this tree home. I am also a fan of the cooperative nature of the story, with the class working together to plant some “friends” for the lone oak tree. There are so many educational nuggets in this book, and combined with the wonderful collage art of Sara Snow, it is a winner!

Now hop on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out the other choices for Perfect Picture Book Friday!

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