Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Starting Life: Tree

Starting Life: Tree

Claire Llewellyn
Illustrator:  Simon Mendez 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
NorthWord Press, 2004   ISBN: 978-1559718790

All too often we go about our lives without really looking at the world around us. Do we ever stop to wonder at the beauty of the trees which make our world so lovely and colorful and which often give us fruits and nuts that we can eat? Do we ever think about how the trees came to be there and how they grew from a tiny seed?

In this gorgeous picture book the reader will learn how a tiny seed grows into a seedling and how that seedling turns into a bountiful apple tree which provides a home and food for countless creatures. The reader will come to see how closely interconnected the tree is with the world around it, how it plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Wasps, butterflies, birds if all kinds, foxes, squirrels, and many other creatures all gain something from the tree?s presence.

Presented in a chronological format, the author concludes by showing her readers what the tree and its surroundings look like in the different seasons. Interesting, sometimes lyrical, text in large print compliments the annotated full page artwork which is both lovely to look at and packed with pictorial information.