To tree or not to tree – Arbor Day 5 June

Have you ever wondered what librarians do on their day off? Well sometimes, we like to go to bookshops. Crazy, I know, we’re around books at work every day – what do we want with books on our day off? I guess sometimes its nice to browse from the other side of the stacks — a bit like Hermione taking Muggle Studies to look at things from the wizarding point of view.

9781447273981So the other day, when Mr K and I went into town to look at the newly re-opened Bridge of Remembrance, I couldn’t resist popping into the new Scorpio Books. The first book that caught my eye was Tidy by Emily Gravett. The wonderful peek-a-boo cover lured my into the forest (just like the lamppost lures Lucy into Narnia) where I met a badger named Pete who likes everything neat. This is a delightfully funny story about what happens when neatness is taken to the extreme. I loved the expressions on the animals’ faces, and their growing panic as Pete’s desperate attempts to keep the forest tidy start to go horribly wrong. I also love the way Gravett subtly introduces a conservation message. It’s definitely one of my latest favourite picture books.

Cover of As An Oak Tree GrowsAnother latest favourite is As An Oak Tree Grows by G. Brian Karas. I took this one home to read to the Young Lad, because it’s by the same author as The Village Garage – which is one of his favourites – and he enjoyed it even more than I expected. This simple story starts with a young Native American boy planting an acorn, and continues on through the years as the tree grows and the world changes around it. The Young Lad really enjoyed the story, and was fascinated by the facts about oak trees in the back of the book. He also thoroughly enjoyed the activity sheet and poster, and especially enjoyed poring over the illustrations to see what he could find. No matter what I said to the contrary, he insisted that the tall ships in the harbour were pirate ships! Even when I pointed out that they had white sails, not black ones or red-and-white stripes like pirate ships should have, and that they didn’t have any Jolly Roger flags, he was quite sure they were pirates. Even so, the book prompted lots of discussion about history, types of transportation, and Progress, as well as trees.

After telling you about such tree-y additions to my Favourite Picture Books list, it seems only right to let you know about the Arbor Day events that are on this weekend.

Cover of The Trees and MeFor more information, read about Arbor Day on the CCC website.

As it happens, 5 June is World Environment Day as well as Arbor Day, so in honour of the occasion, I’ve put together a booklist of kids books about trees and the environment.

Maybe I’ll even join in myself and plant a tree on my day off!

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