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THIS TREE COUNTS! by Alison Formento


by Alison Formento & illustrated by Sarah Snow

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8075-7890-2
Publisher: Whitman

With a cleverly worded title, Formento combines a counting book with the environmental message that every tree matters. When Mr. Tate’s elementary-age class decides to plant some trees behind their school, he encourages them to do even more: to listen to what the old oak tree can tell them. Their listening pays off—they hear all sorts of animals that make the tree their home, from one owl to ten earthworms. Mr. Tate’s mini-lesson continues, touching on the fact that trees cleanse the air, have names and make the seeds that feed animals and grow new trees. Together the class brainstorms some different kinds of trees and the many uses of their wood. The artwork combines a hodgepodge of styles, using collages that are both hand- and digitally made with found papers and several paint media. The result gives a very earthy, made-from-nature feel to the illustrations. Snow’s animals are easy to count and will keep young readers occupied. Paired with one of Ellen Stoll Walsh’s Dot and Jabber adventures or one of Nancy Elizabeth Wallace’s books, this will suit many audiences. (Picture book. 3-8)