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A TREE IS A COMMUNITY by David L. Harrison Kirkus Star


From the Books for a Better Earth series

by David L. Harrison ; illustrated by Kate Cosgrove

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2024
ISBN: 9780823455584
Publisher: Holiday House

So many reasons to love trees!

Writing in animated free verse that calls urgently to be read aloud, Harrison celebrates a tree’s residents, from bugs that “CRAWL and / CLIMB and / SCURRY up that trunk” to birds that nest or peck out cavities just right for later comers like opossums and raccoons to “SETTLE in. / And maybe / they make / their own babies? / For sure!” Meanwhile, the tree has plenty of “tree business” to conduct, such as making flowers and seeds, breathing out the oxygen that “we BREATHE IN! / For sure,” keeping soil in place, and holding “her families / safe in her STRONG arms” when “storms HOWL / and thunder goes / BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!” As small creatures crawl or flit through leafy boughs above in Cosgrove’s bustling, populous illustrations, two brown-skinned children below blow bubbles or peaceably share a rope swing in the cool shade. “And best of all,” the poem ends, when spring comes round again, new seeds will drop so that “very soon / we will have / a fine new tree. / OH YES!” In a personal afterword, the author describes a certain beloved tree in his yard and suggests that readers might pick one for themselves: “I think trees love it when we love them.”

An effervescent appreciation of all that trees do and are.

(bibliography, index) (Informational picture book. 5-8)