Be a Tree!


Be a Tree! Stretch your trunk toward the sun so that your crown luxuriates within the warmth. Know that your bark is the skin that wraps about the nutrients that are you. What’s more, the pith is your heart, beating strongly within our core.

We mustn’t forget that trees live within a forest, as we do, a community that is sustained by the ecosystem about us. We are ‘one of many trees‘. ‘We talk, share food, store water, divide resources, alert each other to danger’.

Yet there are some non-native trees, others who are alone and vulnerable. We must invite them in, for together we are strong. Aren’t we better for a family, with love and guidance? Aren’t we all ‘a family, a community, a country, a cosmos’? There is ‘enough for all‘.

The call to branches, the surge to community, the reassurance of our individual and collective strengths encourage and inform. Alongside Maria Gianferrari’s striking, stirring text, blooms Felicita Sala’s pictures. Be a Tree! is an outstanding picture book that we recommend to share at home and thereafter in assemblies and classrooms.

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Be a Tree!

Written by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Felicita Sala

(Abrams)– hardback

We are like trees in that we can ‘stand tall‘ and stretch ourselves toward ‘the sun’. What’s more we have the soil to ground us, beneath our feet, while our spine is like ‘a trunk’ giving us ‘shape’ and holding our ‘crown’. Just think! Isn’t our skin like ‘bark’. After all, it protects what is within us. Deep inside us is a whole system, just like beneath bark, that carries the ‘nutrients’ [that] help [us] grow bigger and taller’. 
Thereafter our heart, at the centre, is our ‘pith’ that keeps the ‘nutrients‘ from ‘when [we] ‘were a sapling’. What’s more, our crown should ‘shine overhead’.
Alongside the comparisons and inspiration, we are led to consider the ‘trees’ all about us. It seems that our while we wave our ‘leaves in the wind, breathe in air, drink in sun‘ we should seek out others and recognise our similarities. We are not alone, just as trees join together within the forest, ‘share food, store water, divide resources and alter others to danger’. There is power within the ecosystem of our togetherness, too. However, what of the ‘immigrant trees’, those alone and ‘vulnerable‘?
Maria Gianferrari’s Be a Tree! is clever, inspiring and soaring. The pictures from Felicita Sala of Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street are magnificent, deep and rich and layered. Bookwagon loves Be a Tree! and recommends it highly to all our readers.



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