Kids Review: The Dancing Trees (Masiana Kelly)



About This Book:

Thomas loves to tell stories. Big stories. Stories about how skilled he is on the land. But when one of his friends grows tired of his tall tales, Thomas has to prove how skilled he really is. Taking the challenge to spend a night alone in the forest, Thomas heads into the wilderness. The trees, who have heard his stories, watch him tear off their bark and litter as he goes. And so, while Thomas sleeps, they dance a dance that will leave Thomas with a very different kind of story to tell―if he can find his way home…


*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

Picture book about taking care of world around you
THE DANCING TREES is a story about respecting the world and trees around you. Thomas loves to tell stories about his feats, where he has single-handedly captured a bunch of fish or a large moose. He also doesn’t bother picking up his own trash, littering on the ground and assuming someone else will come to get it. When his friends get sick of his stories, they challenge him to prove it by spending a night in the woods alone.

Thomas heads into the woods, leaving his trash along the way and tying strings to the tree branches so he can find his way back out. He builds a lean-to for the night, but the forest is upset by the way he takes, wastes, and litters, so the trees with the strings move away. When it begins to rain, Thomas decides to leave, but his strings are gone. He remembers what his family has taught him and picks up his garbage and thanks the forest for the things it gives. When he wakes the next morning, the trees with strings are back and he is able to find his way out – with a new outlook on the woods.

What I loved: These colorful illustrations capture the story well, with a lot of detail to enjoy on each page. The book has some core lessons about humility, truth, and taking care of the planet that are really important. The story is longer in length, with some scary parts where he feels lost, so this would appeal more to older picture book readers, who can internalize the important messages. Notably, this story is written by an Inuk/Dene author.

Final verdict: A cautionary tale about the importance of caring for the world around you, THE DANCING TREES is an intriguing picture book read that will work best for older readers.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*