Review of One Day This Tree Will Fall

One Day This Tree Will Fall One Day This Tree Will Fall
by Leslie Barnard Booth; illus. by Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Preschool, Primary    McElderry    40 pp.
3/24    9781534496965    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781534496972    $10.99

“LOOK AT IT. Wounded, worn, twisted, torn. / One day this tree will fall / and this story will end. / Won’t it?” So begins this Pacific Northwest–set saga of one tree surviving when other giants around it don’t. There are so many ways the tree might not have stood. From the very beginning, other seeds landed on bare rock and didn’t live, or dropped into a stream, or were eaten. But this tree thrived, despite wind, drought, ice, and fire. And not only survived. “This tree flourished. This tree aged” and became its own ecosystem, “a world / of miniature forests / meadows / rivers / seas… / of silken death traps / and venomous fangs, / of bright, begging mouths / and fluttering wings.” Lively, poetic writing and beautiful illustrations in a rich palette, which emphasize unique angles and close-up images of the tree’s denizens, combine for a volume perfect for reading aloud, and not only in science classes. Even the youngest of readers and listeners will grasp the concepts of ecosystems and the continuity of life. A model of what an excellent STEM-focused picture book can be in its effective interplay of text and illustrations. Appended is a discussion of the science behind a tree’s life, death, and life after death.

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Dean Schneider

Dean Schneider teaches eighth grade English at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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