Posted in picture books

Review of Tree, by Britta Teckentrup and Patricia Hegarty

I love children’s books, I love nature, and I love trees. So when Little Tiger Kids sent me a review copy of Britta Teckentrup’s and Patricia Hegarty’s new book Tree, I couldn’t have been more delighted.

As the days are getting shorter and the temperatures very, very cooler, it’s a good time to talk about changing seasons with children. Tree does this effectively through a year in the life of a forest tree, explained through Hegarty’s poetic rhyming couplets and Teckentrup’s vivid illustrations. The books begins in winter, as the tree and forest are ‘gripped by winter’s icy chill’. A solitary owl peeps through a cut-out hole in the right-hand page ‘watching in his tree/ no one sees as much as he’.

As the book progresses, so do the seasons. Winter merges into spring, spring into summer, etc, and not only do the illustrations reflect this, but the cut-out holes increase to show bear cubs playing, squirrels scampering, birds singing and bees humming. Suddenly, the tree is no longer the solitary figure it was during winter but a home and a host to all forms of wildlife, attracted by its glorious colours. And still the owl observes from his hollow. When the riotous activity of summer begins to wane, the colours are muted. The holes decrease until even the owl takes his leave when ‘All the forest has gone to sleep’ until ‘the first new buds appear / And so begins another year’.

This cycle of events shows children how the different seasons vary, what happens in the natural world at each time and things they can look out for too. The hard cover of the book feels like wood itself and the pages have a satisfying heavy quality to them. The matt effect means the reader is drawn into the story and doesn’t have to battle in bright light conditions – it just all feels and looks natural and beautiful.

The combination of Hegarty’s poetry and Teckentrup’s artwork is a winner. Children will be entranced by this book and the endless animals, flowers, colours, etc, lurking in the drawings, while adults will appreciate the artistry. This would make a lovely present for any nature lover … or any child.

Please note that while I was sent a review copy of Tree I was under no obligation to review it.

Advertisements

Author:

Childtastic Books started out as a collaborative blog, written by me and my young daughter Holly. Now she's nearly a teen, she's off doing exciting and new things but I am still here, reading, writing and reviewing books for children and young adults of all ages. I miss her input but I hope she will pop in from time to time to do some guest posts! A little about me - I have just finished an MA in Children's Literature from the University of Roehampton (result pending, eeek) and am a part-time primary school librarian. The other part of my time is spent writing and editing, my own work and others, and I am waiting for my first non-fiction book to be published - a teacher resources pack for Handa's Surprise. I welcome comments and love to hear from visitors to this blog. Please note though that, because of time constraints, it is rare that I can read and review books from self-published authors. I receive so many requests and feel badly about not being able to keep up with them all. Thanks for visiting! Sam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s