WHEN A TREE GROWS by Cathy Ballou Mealey


Age Range: 4 - 6
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A bonanza of possibilities opens up for Moose, Bear, and Squirrel, three forest companions.

There are two outcomes, one unremarkable and the other outlandish, for each of many causes, starting with the first page of the story. “When a tree grows,” it can become either a “scratching post for Moose’s itchy antlers,” or it can crash and fall, waking up Bear, who can do one of two things. And so it continues, as Moose encounters a truck, which leads Squirrel to set off for the city for a “job at Nifty Nuts as a quality control inspector.” Or not, which could lead to either a career as an actor or to his missing Moose and home. Which leads to an awesome “Welcome Home party,” which leads to—and the book concludes with—an even more awesome Edenic forest setting for reading, lounging, and just being one’s animal self. The text and the colorful digital illustrations work together in this silly but entertaining tale. Each verso page is busily filled with action and onomatopoeia while the corresponding recto page highlights one of the characters. The bottom right of this page features an image of a turned-up flap and a large “OR…” providing quick pacing for each far-fetched but why-not outcome.

Laugh along as a story about a tree in the forest comes full circle, bringing three creatures along for a bumpy but fun ride. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2120-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2019


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