Be a Tree!
Stretch your branches to the sun.
Be a tree!
We are all like trees: our spines, trunks; our skin, bark; our hearts giving us strength and support, like heartwood. We are fueled by air and sun.
And, like humans, trees are social. They “talk” to spread information; they share food and resources. They shelter and take care of one another. They are stronger together.
In this gorgeous and poetic celebration of one of nature’s greatest creations, acclaimed author Maria Gianferrari and illustrator Felicita Sala both compare us to the beauty and majesty of trees—and gently share the ways in which trees can inspire us to be better people.
What I loved: This was an interesting concept in comparing the ways that humans and trees can be similar. The writing has a lovely rhythm to it, and the illustrations are lovely, capturing the beauty of trees and forests. There's some information about trees hidden within the text, such as about the way they share information through roots, share nutrients, and other simple things about trees.
What left me wanting more: The comparison can be a bit heavy-handed, and I am not sure that the lessons all come through. For instance, I am not sure I would call skin dead like bark. Additionally, immigrant trees would be nonnative/invasive and can mess with the ecosystem, so it does not make the comparison to people well.
The length of the book is a bit tough for little ones, and it seemed a bit repetitive. This may work better for older readers or children who just enjoy looking at pretty pictures.
Final verdict: BE A TREE! is an intriguing picture book that encourages community and a love of trees. Recommend for older picture book readers.