Tree Whispers: A forest of poems

Publisher: Child’s Play

In a thirsty land

Of rock and sand

Hot and dry

Under a fierce blue sky

We desert trees grow tall…

In a lovely collection of tree-themed poems, Mandy Ross takes us from Joshua Tree in the American desert to the pine and oyamel trees of Mexico, to a snowy forest and the trees in a city – and many more!

Books of poems about nature are reasonably common, but it’s less usual to see one just about trees, and especially a picture book. This gives Ross a chance to explore all manner of tree-related topics in rhyming and non-rhyming poems – one of which includes a poem written entirely in tree sounds, for which she has provided a thoughtful and useful translation.

Juliana Oakley’s diverse illustrations show children interacting with trees in lots of different ways, from hugging them to doing yoga poses next to them, planting them and even protesting when they’re cut down.

Even though this is a picture book, it would be appropriate to read to little ones but also share with mid-primary aged children at school, especially as a focus for a project about trees.

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