Picture a Tree
by Barbara Reid
Scholastic Books, 2011
ISBN 978-1-4431-0761-7 (hc)
$19.99, 30 pp, ages 3 – 8
There is more than one way to picture a tree. This is the opening statement for Barbara Reid’s colourful new picture book. Using her signature plasticine artwork, Barbara shows us trees of all shapes and sizes. She crafts trees in every season, in all types of weather and a variety of settings. She gives us a glimpse of a world where trees can be: A tunnel, or an ocean. A pirate ship, a bear cave, a clubhouse, a friend. Each page is a visual delight and a wonderful example of the unique talent that has earned Barbara so many prestigious awards.
Choosing images to express the playfulness of branches and clouds, the character of an old tree, or the explosion of spring was like putting together a puzzle, or drawing a poem. Barbara Reid, 2011
Classroom Connections: In October 2011, grade one children across Canada took home a free copy of Gifts, illustrated by Barbara Reid. Many of Barbara’s other titles have found homes on the bookshelves of classrooms and school libraries throughout the country. The Party, Have You Seen Birds? and The New Baby Calf are just a few of these. As with Barbara’s other titles, Picture a Tree is an ideal tool for teaching primary aged children the concept of making connections. Having them discuss the wide variety of trees found in the book as well as the neighbourhood surrounding the school, could also open up the opportunity to discuss the concept of transforming (I always thought that a tree… but now I think…). Finally, the last two lines of the book, Picture a tree. What do you see? invite readers to visualize their own trees. I am guessing that few primary teachers will pass up that opportunity to get out the paints, crayons, glue, plasticine and maybe even the glitter!
Review by Brenda Boreham.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Mar/Apr 2012 issue.