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This Adventure, Our Life: Book Love: We Planted a Tree

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Love: We Planted a Tree

Okay, so I love children's books, what can I say.  Something about the simplicity and the beautiful illustrations.  Maybe even the content. When Bailey and I go to the bookstore, I have to either allow myself one book or just walk out.  Maybe it is not that bad but I have to say that the library is much safer place for me.  So with that said, I have a book that we have read this last week that we love (well really several but one that I would like to write about, I will leave the others for another post!).

We Planted a Tree: By: Diane Muldrow, Illustrated By: Bob Staake

"When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope".
--Dr. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate 

This first one is truly a great book.  It is about two families in two parts of the world (one in Brooklyn and the other in Africa- referencing Kenya's greenbelt project) who plant a tree, as the trees flourish, grow and change, so do the families.  It shows trees all over the world in different seasons and what they do for us.  The illustrations are fantastic, with a whimsical way to them.  My favorite part is the architectural references in the book (maybe because that is my degree- architecture, and Bailey must know about all things design!)  I also love that fact the the plot, with the two families jumps back and forth so you must identify where you are or which tree you are with.  The people in the illustrations are from all around the world and culturally depicted.  There are alternative methods of transportation shown on each page in the illustrations, building styles according to the region, children playing sports outside, children walking to school, bikes, boats, people growing their own food, all environmentally responsible choices, the list goes on.  Oh yes, and I am pretty sure the baby is wearing a cloth diaper!! Yep.  I was really impressed with the characters, all being shown with a smile, all sizes and shapes. The colors are amazing.  The words are simple, with a message about the environment, how it relates to us, grows with us, helps us to grow, and more importantly our responsibility to it. 

"We planted a tree and it grew up, While it reached for the sky and the sun.
We planted a tree and it grew up, And so did we."

Bailey paid full attention as I read this book.  Maybe she does not appreciate the content yet, but she will.  She really enjoys the colors, trying to grab at each page.  The text is simple and the books itself is just the right length for an easy read.  I think that most of the time going through this book is interaction with the child and parent.  I like to show Bailey what is on the page, so of course we talked about Japanese traditional structures and gardens (Torri japanese gates are depicted) , the Brooklyn Bridge, apartment structures with a shared yard, African huts, the Eiffel Tower, french cafes, barns, pets of different types and everything else.  Okay, so Bailey gets tired of me talking to her about everything, she will be a talker, guaranteed!  Bailey I hope you like the books Mommy is choosing for you (of course they will not always be environmentally and architecturally related!).

Book Love.  We love our books.  Now go read.

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