Tap the Magic Tree

Book review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Tap the Magic Tree Book Poster Image
Simple, interactive story about the changing seasons.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids can talk and learn about the seasons and cycles as the apple tree at the center of this simple story transforms through spring to summer to fall to winter and back to spring again. The rhyming text may encourage kids to make up rhymes of their own.

Positive Messages

Kids are encouraged to interact with Tap the Magic Tree, tapping branches, patting leaves, and clapping to bring on the next amazing change. 

Positive Role Models & Representations
Violence & Scariness
Language

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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. 

Talk to your kids 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?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love picture books

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate