What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tap the Magic Tree is an engaging picture book that features an apple tree transforming through spring, summer, fall, winter, and back to spring again. Kids are encouraged to interact with the tree, tapping branches, patting leaves, and clapping to trigger the next amazing change. Parents can use this book to talk about the seasons. The rhyming text may encourage kids to make up rhymes of their own.
What's the story?
Through simple rhymes, kids are encouraged to tap a tree's bare branches to help it sprout buds. Then they rub the tree to warm it up, helping it form blossoms. Eventually, the little tree grows fruit, then loses its leaves, only to become a nest for birds and ultimately begin the cycle again.
Is it any good?
TAP THE TREE is a great read-aloud book, as kids will enjoy interacting with the pages, from tapping the tree to knocking on the trunk. Author-illustrator Christie Matheson expertly builds the excitement to a peak when the apples fall ("Plop!, plop!, plop! plop! plop! plop! Kerplop!") then slows the book down again as summer ends and the fall and winter months begin.
Matheson uses both watercolor and collage to showcase her tree throughout the seasons, creating little pink blossoms, red apples, rich fall-colored leaves, and tiny blue birds. The tree's simplicity is well balanced with the spare text.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the seasons and what they like about each one. What's the difference between summer and winter? Or spring and fall? How are the trees different? What else is different?
What's your favorite season?
Examine how the author made her tree collage. Parents can help kids make tree collages of their own. What season will you choose for your tree?