Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416986720

Many of us walk past trees without even noticing them. If we do stop to notice these wonderful plants, we often find ourselves asking a lot of questions about the trees that we see. For example, how did they get here, what are their names, and what do roots do?

For this unique book, master poet and illustrator, Douglas Florian, have written eighteen poems about trees. Some of the poems are about specific species of trees, including yews, baobabs, giant sequoias, paper birches, and weeping willows. Other poems are about certain parts of a tree. For example, he begins the book by looking at a seed. Using one long sentence that is twisted into a figure eight on the page, Florian reminds us that seeds are just part of an ongoing cycle. Later he tells us about roots, which anchor a tree into the ground “so it won’t slip,” and which provide trees with the means to drink “rain that pours.”  Bark protects trees from “fire, heat, and cold,” and it comes in “an array of hues.”

At the end of the book the author gives his audience further information about each of the topics that he has covered in the book. In addition, he uses an author’s note to tell us why trees have a special place in his heart and in his life.