Be Thankful for Trees: A Tribute to the Many and Surprising Ways Trees Relate to Our Lives
Be Thankful for Trees is for young kids in first and second grade. It’s broken into sections, the first section being A tree is food. “Would life be satisfying without trees? It would not./ Syrup to gather . . ./Pecans to pick . . . /Nuts, berries, bark,/ to crunch, munch, and lick.”
The second section is A tree is comfort. “Would life be good without trees? It would not. /What gives you a seat . . ./ a floor for your feet . . ./ a place you can sit with your family to eat?”
The third section is A tree is music. “Would life be melodious without trees? It would not.” This section talks about the musical instruments made from trees: “pianos, bongos, violins and bows, drums and guitars. /Tree wood makes music zing, ping, and hum.’
The fourth section is A tree is art. “Would life be beautiful without trees? It would not.” The fifth section is A tree is recreation. “Would life be fun without trees? It would not.” Kites, boats, tree houses, oars, paddles, benches, skateboards and bats are in the rhyming couplets.
The sixth section is A tree is home. “Would life be comfy without trees? It would not.”Leaving the human perspective, this section alternates between humans enjoying life with trees and animals living in trees. “Sturdy branches to swing from/ hang on or rest . . . / [the art shows children]/ a perfect forked branch holds a neat little nest.” Following pages show frogs, chipmunks, owls, mushrooms, and more kids.
The seventh section is A tree is life. “Would life be possible without trees? It would not. /Storms, fires, floods . . . / all kinds of construction . . ./ Trees need protection from man-made destruction.” The couplets end up with a line “BE THANKFUL FOR TREES.”
The books has colorful, stylized art, cute animals with expressive faces, a sleeping grandpa, and people of various skin tones, lots of extra cats thrown in, plus a wiener dog.
The rhyme schemes change here and there, but other than that, the book is pretty perfect. Kids need to value trees so that they will grow up and protect them. Too many people take out mature trees for the wrong reasons. Trees are food, comfort, music, art, recreation, home, but mostly life. Be Thankful for Trees shows us that.