Have you ever adopted a tree and watched it through the seasons? Kids love watching trees. This is even more meaningful when they learn about trees. Take a peek at these inspiring and informative children’s books about trees. Read them with your kids. I hope these give your children new eyes in which to view our natural world.
Inspiring and Informative Children’s Books About Trees
Trees: A Count and Find Primer by Greg Paprocki
Count the beautiful trees – 1 Mangrove Tree, 2 Banyan Trees, 3 Live Oak Trees, 4 Juniper Trees, all the way to 10 Ponderosa Pine Trees. Detailed, colorful illustrations show people and animals enjoying life amidst the trees — whether camping or fishing, bird watching or exploring. Back matter contains fun facts about the trees and a page of hidden objects to find when you reread the story. Absolutely wonderful.
The tree stands tall throughout the seasons. Each of the tree’s changes brings a new peek through illustrations of animals and bugs in its foliage until it snows. I love the bright illustrations and peek-throughs and so will your kids.
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Who doesn’t love an interactive picture book? The tree is bare, tap it four times and turn the page. Leaves! Tap it again, more leaves. Rub, jiggle, shake, knock, clap, and pat your way through the four seasons of an apple tree‘s growth cycle. Impossible to resist!
Shake the Tree! by Chiara Vignocchi, Paolo Chiarinotti, and Silvia Borando
Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Kate Sessions helped plant San Diego with a variety of trees that would grow in the city’s climate. She worked hard to make sure that by the World’s Fair, there were enough trees for shade that the attendees wouldn’t be too hot. Beautifully written and illustrated!
The Things That I LOVE about Trees by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by Charlotte Voake
What do I love about this oversized picture book? I love Charlotte Voake’s gorgeous illustrations, Chris Butterworth’s celebration of trees, the big text size of the descriptive thing to love about trees, and the smaller text size for the factual information. Bigger narrative text like, “Summer trees are shady and so full of leaves that when the wind blows, they swish like the sea.” And smaller factual text like, “Leaves use the sunshine to make food that the tree needs so that it can grow.” Fabulous descriptive text make this book a good choice for teaching children about using sensory images and figurative language.
Tree of Life: The World of the African Baobab by Barbara Bash
I love the illustrations in this beautiful book about one of the world’s most interesting trees, the baobab. (I also like to just say the word!) Learn about the habitat, the savannah, where the tree lives as well as the animals who live in and around it.
Trees by Verlie Hutchens, illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
Playful personification poems of different tree species will appeal to readers as they get to know trees in a different way. “Aspen, tall and graceful, dances on her tippy toes. Her golden leaves like castanets shimmer in the breeze.” Textured illustrations accompany each poem, capturing further the character of each tree from Sycamore to Willow. Amazing.
Strange Trees by Bernadette Porquie, illustrated by Cecile Gambini
The trees in this oversized book are absolutely fascinating. It’s a good choice for upper elementary-aged kids. I’m glad there’s a map because I would love to travel the world to see trees such as a breadfruit tree, rainbow tree, and a chewing gum tree, among others. The illustrations and borders are eye-catching and gorgeous.
Listen to the Language of Trees: A Story of How Forest Communicate Underground by Tera Kelley, illustrated by Marie Hermansson
In a busy forest of plants and animals, a squirrel grabs a pinecone and buries it. In that pinecone hung a seed that rests underground. The seed listens to the trees talk to each other through their roots. And a giant tree sends the little seed nourishment. Beautiful, descriptive writing with action verbs show the seedling waiting and watching as danger arrives and the forest talks.
Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree by Kate Messner, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani
Warm illustrations meet beautiful writing in this new picture book about the warm-wet rainforest. Count along as you learn about rainforest animals and plants. Count 6 roaring howler monkeys, 62 agoutis, or 512 Rusty Wandering Spiders. It’s a beautiful book with just the perfect amount of text (not too much).
The Family Tree by David McPhail
The pioneer family clear land for a house, leaving one big tree. Years pass and generations grow. But when highway workers want to chop down the big tree, it’s up to the great-great-great grandson and his forest animals to guard the tree. I’m a McPhail fan anyway and this is a great story about protecting the environment with lovely earth-toned illustrations.
The Forever Tree by Teresa Surratt and Donna Lukas, illustrated by Nicola Slater
As an Oak Tree Grows by G. Brian Karas
Follow the changes surrounding the oak tree that is planted by a boy in 1775. By 1850 the oak tree is surrounded by a farm and buildings in the distance. By 1950 there are more houses, cars, and electrical wires. When it’s 200 years old it’s a leafy home for many animals, birds, and insects. And then a lightning bolt hits the tree and kills it. It’s cut down. Next to the stump, a new oak tree grows. I love the illustrations and the glimpses into how much the world changed over 200 years. Beautiful!
Each tree is illustrated and identified. Accompanying information tells readers about the tree’s lifespan, bark, leaves, and seeds. You’ll read about trees like Aspen, Willow, Cottonwood, Maple, Oak, Douglas Fir, and others. These trees seem to be all the trees we typically have here in Colorado but I’d check to see if this book fits for your surrounding area.
Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeannette Winter
Based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, read how Wangari helped her country of Kenya whose forests were destroyed while she lived abroad. She started planting trees, starting a movement that encouraged others to plant trees as well. Also read: Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson.
Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier & Mizuho Fujisawa
A girl finds a tree and grows to love its many qualities throughout the different seasons. Parents, besides the story, you’ll also enjoy reading the questions and interactive “Try This” prompts with your kids; prompts like “Run your fingers over the trunk of a tree. Does it feel rough and scratchy? Or is it soft and smooth? Bark is a kind of skin that protects the tree.” Age-appropriate and lovely.