2021: The Year of the Tree?

We've spotted the birds and the bees, then bears, now trees? Yes, that's right, a new trend in picture books is putting down roots (and it's also been pretty prevalent in longer works, too; see Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly for just one such example from this year).

Perhaps this interest in writing/publishing fiction and nonfiction about trees is due to humans' collective desire to reconnect with nature and be outdoors during a pandemic that has kept us cooped up inside too much for too long. Or maybe it's been inspired by the uptick in wildfires in recent years that has devastated forest areas. Or it's possibly the realization that we need to teach kids how to protect the environment better than we adults have so far, and caring about trees is a big part of that. Whatever the reason, our book reviews section in the Magazine has been very green this year.

The books we've seen include:

Though does anyone else note the irony that these books are most likely made from dead trees?! Here's hoping publishers kept that in mind and used tree-friendly recycled paper instead.

Are there other new tree picture books you'd recommend that I didn't mention here? How about books for older kids? And what other trends are you seeing a lot of in recent children's books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Maria Gianferrari

Thanks so much for including BE A TREE! here, Cynthia :).I have a few additional titles to recommend: Alex Giardino's ME + TREE (illustrated by the Balbusso twins). Tony Johnston also has a new book called TREES releasing in October, so I haven't yet read it, her SEQUOIA was lovely. May the forest be with you :)For older readers I enjoyed Peter Wohlleben's CAN YOU HEAR THE TREES TALKING? and TREE BEINGS by Raymond Huber & Sandra Severgnini.Though it's more of a biography, Heather Lang's THE LEAF DETECTIVE is also very moving.

Posted : Sep 08, 2021 07:23


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