We Planted a Tree

Common Sense Media says

A poem to inspire young tree huggers everywhere.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Great facts about the life cycle of trees and the many benefits to people and the environment.

Positive messages

Trees help the world by providing beauty, shade, clean air, healthy soil, and food.  By planting a single tree, we can make the earth a better, happier more peaceful place.

Positive role models

Two families, one from NYC and the other from Africa, look full of hope as they plant trees in their yards. As the children grow, so does each tree. Other families enjoying the benefits of trees are pictured in scenes from other parts of the world. A quote on the frontispiece gives reference to Kenya's Green Belt Movement: "When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope." 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is a simple, hopeful poem about trees, and the good people can do by planting them. It was inspired by the work done by Kenya's Green Belt Movement, and its message celebrates nature, growth, and the power of community effort. 

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

The story begins when two families from opposite sides of the world each plant a tree in the backyard. Years pass, and the trees grow, as do the families. Meanwhile the reader learns how trees grow and what they do to benefit people all over the world, and the earth itself. In the end, the children have grown, and we see them standing, happy and hopeful, with their families around the tree they each put into the earth.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While the story here is simply told in poetic lines and the illustrations are playful, the message is powerful and will inspire readers of all ages. It stresses how in many ways, people all around the world are the same, and all benefit in some way from the trees that grow around them. The author might have made her message even stronger had she nudged readers toward the next step by including information about Kenya's Greenbelt project as well as other tree projects that people, especially kids, might access.

Any fan of Bob Staake will recognize the artwork as his. On one page, attentive readers will even spot the donut chef from his earlier book. Created on the computer, his scenes are expressively detailed yet definitely of graphic design. Colorful, geometrically influenced images describe each setting and bring a fuller, more universal dimension to the hopeful message of each page.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how trees grow and why they are important.  How does the sunshine help the leaves make food? Or help the buds burst open? How do the leaves help clean the air? How do the roots help heal the soil? They can talk about how they benefit from the trees around them, and how they could help those trees grow. 

  • What do the illustrations show about the poem? What different countries and cultures do you see? How do you know where the story is taking place? What details give you hints about what is going on?

  • Families might read about the reforestation programs that are happening around the world, especially those that are taking place in their own communities. How can kids help out?

Book details

Author:Diane Muldrow
Illustrator:Bob Staake
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Golden Books
Publication date:March 9, 2010
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 8 year old Written byfever01 March 25, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 
this book tell you about being green
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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