The Perfect Tree
Author and Illustrator: Chloe Bonfield
Published January 5th, 2016 by Running Press Kids
Summary: Jack is searching for the perfect tree—one that he can chop, hack, and stack! But when it becomes too hard to find, Jack stumbles across three unlikely friends who want to show him their perfect trees.
In this lively, enchanting story, The Perfect Tree is a reminder to notice the wonders we often overlook, and to value our friendship with the natural world.
Kellee’s Review: The Perfect Tree is a book that I hope doesn’t go beneath the radar because it is a wonderful book with a positive theme and beautiful illustrations. Jack’s story makes the reader think about all the harm we do when we destroy the forest, but it does so without listing or preaching. It just shows. It mentions in her biography that Chloe Bonfield is fond of printmaking, and you can see this in her artwork that accompanies Jack’s story. It is mixed media, 3D, collage, and illustrated and just really takes the book to the next level.
Ricki’s Review: Whew. This book is quite beautiful. I felt like I went through a journey as I turned the pages. When I got to the end, I flipped to the front of the book and read it once more. My 2-year-old son kept saying, “Ooooo,” as I turned the pages. The words flow naturally in a way that is both quiet in its delivery and loud in its message. And the artwork—oh the artwork! I love the way the images are layered to grab readers’ attention. I spent much time on each page wondering, “But how did she do this?!” The mixed media will captivate readers and inspire them to want to create their own works of art/literature. I am excited to have this book in my library because I know it will be inspirational to my son.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is a great one to discuss theme with. It is one that you have to infer, but it isn’t too difficult to interpret which would make it a good scaffolding tool to longer narratives. Additionally, it would be a great book to read around Earth Day because of the environmental lesson and love of nature.
Discussion Questions: Why does Jack change his mind?; Why is it important to take care of nature?; What are some ways that the author helps you see Jack’s story (through illustrations and text)?
We Flagged: “Once a boy named Jack went on a journey to find the perfect tree. Not to climb, not to draw, and definitely not to hug. No, Jack wanted a perfect tree to chop. A perfect tree to hack! A perfect tree to stack.”
Read This If You Loved: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins, Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli
**Thank you to Cassie from Running Press for providing copies for review!!**
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