A Tree is a Home

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A book review of A Tree is a Home by Pamela Hickman and Zafouko Yamamoto

A book review of A Tree is a Home by Pamela Hickman and Zafouko Yamamoto

Stars: ****

Kids Can Press (2021)
Picture Books>Trees
32 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: In this delightful exploration of the seasons in nature, an oak tree and its animal inhabitants change and grow over the course of a year — just like their human neighbors!

A large old oak tree stands near an empty house. Like the house, the tree provides shelter and a place to raise a family. From its branches to its roots, six animals share the tree as a home. Readers follow along as the tree and the animals — a raccoon, opossum, acorn weevil, gray squirrel, blue jay and chipmunk — change and adapt through all four seasons, from one autumn to the next. Meanwhile, a human family moves into the empty house nearby, and we see their story unfold, and grow, at the same time as their animal neighbors.

Bestselling children’s author Pamela Hickman provides a perfect introduction to nature’s seasonal cycles in this charming picture book. In a unique approach, the informational text about the tree and animals is paired with a separate narrative told wordlessly through artwork about the human family’s parallel lives. Zafouko Yamamoto’s art alternates between the wider view encompassing the tree and the house and a focus only on the tree, where close-up illustrations highlight each animal’s activities. This multilayered story invites rereading and discussions about the various homes found in nature, and the cycles and seasons of life. It has strong curriculum applications in life science, such as growth and changes in animals and plants, ecosystems and habitats. The book also explores the interconnectedness of living things and fosters an appreciation for nature. Illustrated life cycles of an oak tree and each of the animals in the book, a glossary and further reading are included.

A Tree is a Home

This was a cute book that shows some of the many animals that live in trees in a fun way. Designed for grades K-3 it doesn’t just say “a bird lives in a tree” for example. It teaches you how animal bodies change to help them survive the winter, what happens when warm weather arrives after the winter, about when baby animals leave home, the life cycle of an oak tree and much much more.

I really like that with the illustrations you see not only the animals in the trees but a human family next to it. So when the seasons change and the animals have babies and such, the family changes too. For example at the beginning, a tree that shows not much life is shown beside an empty house that is for sale.

On the Autumn page, the tree shows coloured leaves and acorns while the house shows a family moving in. In the winter page the house looks more lived in and they have holiday lights in the windows. In the Spring a new baby has arrived to the house while all the animals in the tree have given birth or are about to.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.

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