Trees: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about trees?

“It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man.” – Henry David Thoreau

Not to get all poetic on you, but Thoreau knows his stuff. For those of you who don’t love Thoreau, let’s talk more practically about the importance of trees—they help sustain life! Trees help provide us with oxygen, give us shade in hot days, bring joy in their blossoms and changing leaves, and, of course, provide a relaxing reading spot. :) Don’t be surprised at how many fantastic children’s books there are centered around trees, when they do so much for us and inspire even the best of poets.

Top 10 Books About Trees

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Tap the Magic Tree book
#2
Tap the Magic Tree
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This interactive board books has you tap the tree, jiggle the book, and blow kisses to help the tree along in it’s transformation through the seasons! I’m always up for a great interactive book, and this one is no exception. The illustrations are beautiful and simple to go along with the fun changes you help the tree go through.

The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times.

Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss

The Night Gardener book
#3
The Night Gardener
Written and illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

The Wish Tree book
#4
The Wish Tree
Written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Charles and his Boggan set out to find a wish tree. Their journey is long and tiresome and they are slowed by the friends they stop to help on the way. When Charles falls asleep on his sled, he is aided the rest of the way by the animals of the forest. This book has a little magic to it that really comes alive in the later pages. The illustrations are beautiful and fun on the imagination. In some ways, it reminds me of The Polar Express. Different story, but similar feelings.

Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways. The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round.

Our tree named Steve book
#5
Our tree named Steve
Written by Alan Zweibel and illustrated by David Catrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn’t stop staring at. . . . After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he’s there when Adam and Lindsay get their first crushes, and he’s the centerpiece at their outdoor family parties. With a surprising lack of anthropomorphizing, this is a uniquely poignant celebration of fatherhood, families, love, and change.

Stuck book
#6
Stuck
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Grammy

The boy in this story may be a little single-minded when it comes to problem-solving, but wow, does he have a strong arm! There are plenty of opportunities to anticipate and predict what might happen next; just when you think he might use an object for its intended purpose and change the trajectory of the story, he lobs it into the tree. Kids find this absolutely hilarious! I love the simply-drawn illustrations and the creative variety of the boy’s resources. It is a wonderful thing to be so engaged in the resolution of a problem that one is completely distracted from the problem itself.

From the illustrator of the #1 smash The Day the Crayons Quit comes another bestseller–a giggle-inducing tale of everything tossed, thrown, and hurled in order to free a kite!

When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, he’s determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now it’s stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that’s only the beginning. Stuck is Oliver Jeffers’ most absurdly funny story since The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

Little Tree book
#7
Little Tree
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena.

“Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review

In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is.

Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Tree Alphabet book
#8
Mrs. Peanuckle's Tree Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Whether they’re short or tall, pruny or smooth, full of berries or flowers or nuts, the 26 types of trees in this alphabet primer are sure to surprise and delight the youngest of readers (and their parents). After all, trees do more for us than sway in the wind. Did you know incense Cedars are perfect for making pencils? (So we can practice writing our ABCs.) Or that Katsura trees are great for climbing? (So we can discover more about trees!) With playful text, bright illustrations, and pages as strong as an oak, Mrs. Peanuckle’s trees will engage toddlers and take them on an alphabet adventure through the natural world. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Tree Alphabet is the sixth and final title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.

The Lorax book
#9
The Lorax
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.

A Tree is Nice book
#10
A Tree is Nice
Written by Janice May Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Trees are very nice,” says Janice May Udry in her first book for children. She goes on to explain that even one tree is nice, if it is the only one you happen to have.

Some of the reasons why trees are so good to have around are funny. Some are indisputable facts. But in all of them there is a sense of poetic simplicity and beauty which will be sure to entrance any young child. Whether he knows one tree or many, he will relish the descriptions of the delights to be had in, with, or under a tree.

Marc Simont’s joyous pictures, half of them in full color, accentuate the child-like charm of the words. And each painting of a tree or trees shows just how very nice they can be.

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Trees and...

Books About Trees and Animals

The Night Gardener book
#1
The Night Gardener
Written and illustrated by Eric Fan and Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

Oliver's Tree book
#2
Oliver's Tree
Written and illustrated by Kit Chase
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

The illustrations for Oliver’s Tree are warm and homey with an older, Winnie the Pooh feel to them. The book teaches a valuable lesson about helping friends. Oliver is sad that he can’t play in the trees like his friends. While he walks away pouting and disappointed, his friends rally to build a tree house where they can all play together. The book really is quite reminiscent of a Winnie the Pooh story. It’s simple and sweet. Oliver’s emotions get the best of him, but that happens to most of us at some time or another, and it sure makes a difference when we have good friends to help us through.

A board book about three adorable best friends!

Oliver, Charlie, and Lulu love to play outside together. Their favorite game is hide-and-seek, but it’s not fun for Oliver when his friends hide in the trees—he can’t reach them! So the friends set off to find a tree that Oliver can play in.

But there’s a reason we don’t see elephants in trees, and just when Oliver is ready to give up the search, Charlie and Lulu surprise him with the perfect tree for them all to play in together!

Tree book
#3
Tree
Written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree and all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing and living in the tree—baby bears frolicking in the spring, bees buzzing around apples in the summer, squirrels storing nuts in the fall, and finally the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill—until another year begins… .

Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along the way they’ll learn about the seasons and how a forest and its inhabitants change throughout the year.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Owl & Friends - I play with the squirrels, sing with the birds, and have a picnic with the deer. What am I? Children are asked to figure out just who does all these things in this delightful, bright board book. By opening the gatefold at the end, they discover it’s a big, strong tree.

  2. It Starts With a Seed - In gentle rhyme, It Starts With a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.

  3. Stretch to the Sun - The tallest known tree on earth is located in Redwood National Park in northern California. More than twelve hundred years old, it is approximately 380 feet tall—and still climbing! The tree in this book sprouted, flourished, and survived ecological threats for over twelve hundred years before being discovered by tall-tree researchers. The coast redwood tree provides a unique ecosystem for the many plants and animals in its tree canopy and managed to survive extensive harvesting by loggers nearby. Discovered in 2006, the tree’s location is kept secret to protect it.

  4. Up, Up, Up in the Tree - Follow an adventurous squirrel through the forest as he searches for a delicious acorn treat! Join Squirrel as he climbs higher and higher up a tree in his quest for one big surprise! With flaps to lift and peek-through holes, there’s lots to spot, count, and discover along the way.

Want to see more children's books about animals?

Books About Trees and Friendship

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree book
#1
Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

For avid readers especially, this story about building a little community library is charming, with everyone bringing a little something of themselves to share. The illustrations are lovely and feel calm and soothing.

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together. One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? “I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it,” Red Knit Cap Girl says. But the tree isn’t only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

Bridge to Terabithia book
#2
Bridge to Terabithia
Written by Katherine Paterson and illustrated by Donna Diamond
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year’s first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn’t even know enough to stay on the girls’ side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed. In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

Albert's Tree book
#3
Albert's Tree
Written and illustrated by Jenni Desmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Waa! Waa! Why is Albert’s favorite tree crying? And how can he cheer it up? From artist Jenni Desmond comes a warm and funny story about finding a new friend in a very unexpected place. Awake after his long sleep, Albert the bear can’t wait to spend time in his own special tree, which is always so quiet and peaceful. But not today. Today Albert’s tree is crying. How can he cheer it up? Albert’s friend Rabbit suggests digging holes for Tree to play in, but the wailing continues. Eating grass always makes Caribou happy, but an offering of grass does nothing to stop the noise (which is getting to be a bit much). “STOP CRYING!” roars Albert, but the bawling only gets louder. There’s just one thing to do: Albert climbs up to his favorite branch and gives Tree a hug. To Albert’s surprise, he hears a little voice say, “I’m afraid of the big hairy monster.” Who said that? And just who is the big hairy monster?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Trevor - Jim Averbeck’s and Amy Hevron’s illustrated Trevor is the charming, simple tale of an unlikely friendship between a lonely caged canary and the lemon that hangs from the tree outside his window…

  2. Sonny the Daring Squirrel - When Sonny the baby squirrel tries to impress his friends by jumping from the top of a tall oak tree, it almost ends in disaster, and it is up to the superfairies to comfort the frightened youngster and restore calm to the forest.

Want to see more children's books about friendship?

Books About Trees and Christmas

The Great Spruce book
#1
The Great Spruce
Written by John Duvall and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Together with his grandpa, a young boy finds a way to save his favorite tree in this heartwarming Christmas tale. Alec loves to climb trees-the little apple trees, the wide willow trees, even the tall locust trees. But his favorite is the great spruce, with its sturdy trunk and branches that stretch up to the sky. Alec’s grandpa planted it as a sapling years and years before Alec was born, and every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright. But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec’s glistening great spruce, and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration. Though it’s a huge honor, Alec’s heartbroken at the idea of losing his friend. With great courage and creativity, Alec comes up with a plan to save his favorite tree in this joyful holiday tale. Praise for The Great Spruce-

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree book
#2
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
Written by Robert Barry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A classic picture book celebrating all the joy a Christmas tree can bring.

Christmas is here and Mr. Willowby’s tree has arrived. There’s just one big problem: The tree is too tall for his parlor. He cuts off the top so it will fit, and soon the top of that tree is passed along again and again to bring holiday cheer to all the animals in the forest.

Kids will love watching the tree move from home to home, and families will appreciate the subtle message of conservation and recycling, as the tree top spreads joy to so many of the forest dwellers.

This heartwarming story is the perfect way to start your yuletide season, and a warm addition to your family’s festive holiday traditions.

Little Blue Truck's Christmas book
#3
Little Blue Truck's Christmas
Written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Little Blue Truck is spreading cheer by delivering Christmas trees to his animal friends. Can you help count each green tree from one to five and back again? Don’t forget to save one for Blue! Beep! Beep!

With the gentle rhythm and signature illustration style that made Little Blue Truck a household name, Blue’s new adventure is full of holiday warmth. Sturdy cardstock pages, a compact and child-friendly text, and flashing colored Christmas lights on the final page come together in a novelty gift book that’s sure to be the favorite treat of the season.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse - When Mr. Mouse and his family move into the warm spot beneath the kitchen stove in a big house, they discover something new and wonderful: an evergreen decorated with lights, ginger and peppermint smells in the air, and cookies baking in the oven. They hear about a child born long ago, and a jolly man named Santa who brings gifts to celebrate the child’s birth on a day called Christmas. And so they decide that their family should celebrate Christmas too. Join the Mouse family as they discover the magic of their first Christmas, complete with their own mouse-sized tree, tiny cookie crumbs, and miniature stockings just waiting for Santa to fill with presents. Hidden pictures on every page! Look on the underside of this jacket for the key.

  2. Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree - Lori Nichols’s delightful book celebrates the bond of two nature-loving sisters, and their ability to find fantastic kid-powered solutions to any problem—and it will give allergy sufferers an extra reason to celebrate. Maple and Willow love trees—and now they are getting their first real Christmas tree. It is going to be the best Christmas ever! After a snowy expedition to pick out the perfect tree, it’s time to decorate. But whenever Maple gets near the tree, she starts sniffling and sneezing. Could she really be allergic to the perfect Christmas tree? And if so, how will the girls find a way to make this the best Christmas after all?

  3. Bear Stays Up for Christmas - Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up—by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!

  4. The Last Christmas Tree - Among the grand balsam firs and pines at the Christmas tree lot is a little hunched tree that is missing several branches. Still, no tree is more filled with the spirit of Christmas. As the weeks go by, many others are selected but still the little tree keeps up its hope of finding the perfect family. On Christmas Eve, now the last tree in the lot, a special visitor (Ho, Ho, Ho!) might just give the little tree what it wants most of all.

Want to see more children's books about Christmas?

Books About Trees and Christmas Trees

Pick a Pine Tree book
#1
Pick a Pine Tree
Written by Patricia Toht and illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas book
#2
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
Written by Jane O'Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles — and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel.

Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

In this merriest of stories from bestselling duo Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, Nanyc proves once again that a little fancying up can go a long, festive way!

A Little Christmas Tree book
#3
A Little Christmas Tree
Written by Michael Bast and Anthony Merrill and illustrated by Dan Burr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Little Tree wants to be a family’s Christmas tree, and bring the true meaning of Christmas into their home more than anything. But sometimes what we want, and what happens in life are two different things. When Little Tree’s beautiful branch snaps in a terrible accident, his path is forever altered. What he doesn’t realize is that God has a much greater plan for him.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Christmas Crocodile - From Caldecott-winning illustrator David Small and bestselling author Bonny Becker, an unforgettable Christmas story that will leave the whole family giggling. When Alice Jayne finds a crocodile under the tree on Christmas Eve, her family goes into an uproar! The Christmas Crocodile doesn’t mean to be bad, not really, but soon he is eating up Christmas—from the dinner roast to the left stove-top burner…even the Christmas tree! Everyone has an opinion about what to do with him. Uncle Theodore suggests they send him to Africa, Father recommends the zoo, and Aunt Figgy mentions an orphanage. But Alice Jayne thinks the Christmas Crocodile deserves a real family. Can she find him a new home? And will she and the family survive till Christmas morning, with that naughty crocodile gobbling up everything in sight?

  2. Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas! - Join Pinkalicious as she celebrates Christmas in New York Times bestselling author and artist Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas!—complete with poster, cards, and sticker sheet! This year Pinkalicious has decided she wants a bright pink artificial Christmas tree. But Mommy and Daddy immediately say no—the Pinkertons always get real trees for the holidays. Despite Pinkalicious’s begging and pleading, each family member has a different objection: real trees smell better; it’s tradition; and there is definitely no room to store a big pink tree in the house after Christmas! Pinkalicious is disappointed, but she tries to put on her best cheerful face. Then, the day before Christmas, Mommy and Daddy surprise Pinkalicious by coming home with a gorgeously pink artificial tree and Pinkalicious is delighted! It’s pinkatastic!

  3. Tomie Depaola's Christmas Tree Book - Facts and fun about Christmas Trees from the creator of Strega Nona and Quiet. Who invented the first Christmas Tree? When and where did they become popular? Why did Teddy Roosevelt’s son hide a Christmas Tree in his closet? A family learns all about Christmas trees and their legends in this imaginative and informative book from one of today’s most popular children’s authors.

  4. The Finest Christmas Tree - Every year Farmer Tuttle loads his truck with Christmas trees fresh from his farm and drives down to the city to sell them. Then he picks out a special Christmas hat to bring home to Mrs. Tuttle. But one year, people stopped buying real Christmas trees. Fake ones were more convenient, they said. So Farmer Tuttle had to return home without a hat to give his wife. The Tuttles worried; if they couldn’t sell their trees anymore, what would they do? Just when they’re about to sell all their trees to a man from the sawmill, a mysterious letter arrives requesting Farmer Tuttle’s finest tree . . .

Want to see more children's books about Christmas trees?

Books About Trees and The Forest

Bookscape Board Books: A Forest's Seasons book
#1
Bookscape Board Books: A Forest's Seasons
Written and illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Escape into a magical world with this adorable Bookscape Board Book! Discover a forest’s seasons in this one-of-a-kind book. Each uniquely shaped page overlaps with the next to create a complete landscape when closed—and an immersive world to explore with each turn of the page when open. Delightfully petite and chunky, this book begs to be picked up thanks to its tactile, toylike quality. With simple concept-based text and jubilant illustrations, A Forest’s Seasons provides a light introduction to landscapes kids will recognize—or soon encounter.

Red Knit Cap Girl book
#2
Red Knit Cap Girl
Written and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

Red Knit Cap Girl is a little girl with a big dream — to meet the Moon. Red Knit Cap Girl lives with her animal friends in an enchanted forest. There is so much to see and do, but more than anything Red Knit Cap Girl wishes she could talk to the Moon. Join Red Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends on a journey of curiosity, imagination, and joy as they search for a way to meet the Moon. Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl’s curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old as her journey offers a gentle reminder to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around us.

The Magic and Mystery of Trees book
#3
The Magic and Mystery of Trees
Written by Jen Green and illustrated by Claire McElfatrick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Learn about the amazing natural science of trees in this illustrated nature and science book. From the highest branch and leaf down to the complex “wood wide web” of roots, every part of a tree plays an important role in its own growth and the habitat of the whole forest or woodland. Did you know that trees take care of each other and that the whole forest is connected? The Magic and Mystery of Trees takes children on a fascinating journey of exploration, showing them just how special these mighty organisms are. Discover how they communicate and warn each other of predators, how they nurture their networks, record the past, and anticipate the future to ensure their survival. Learn unbe-leaf-able tree facts, meet extraordinary trees from around the world and the animals that call them home. Find out what trees do for us and how we are damaging them with pollution and deforestation. But it’s not too late to do something about it and you’ll find out how you can help with instructions on how to plant your very own tree!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Peanut Bear: What's in the Forest? - Explore the magical forest of Yippity Yay with Peanut Bear and all his friends! The forest has all sorts of wonders to see. There are thin trees and thick trees, little ponds and big lakes, streams and waterfalls, fields of flowers, and so much more. Featuring illustrations of Peanut Bear, his family, Unicorny, and the rest of the gang, this journey through the forest of Yippity Yay is the perfect way to appreciate nature with your favorite characters. Climb trees with Sqwhale, fish in the lake with Papa Bear, and buzz through all the different plants with Bea. Peanut Bear knows that as long as he has his friends and his family by his side, there are always new adventures to be had in his favorite place—the forest!

  2. About Habitats: Forests - This beginner’s guide explores the major attributes of the forest biome and showcases its striking beauty and remarkable diversity using examples from around the globe. In this addition to the About Habitats series, award-winning author Cathryn Sill uses simple, easy-to-understand language to teach children what forests are how various species of animals and plants have adapted to life in these habitats. John Sill’s detailed, full-color illustrations show the characteristics of different types of forests – from the cold boreal forests of the northern hemisphere to the warm tropical forests near the equator A glossary and afterword provide further fascinating details about forests to inspire readers to learn more.

  3. Anywhere Artist - Anyone can make art anywhere, anytime, with anything! Follow a young artist as she moves through a number of natural environments, creating gorgeous artworks along the way from natural materials. Stunning hand-crafted illustrations with handlettered text. An ideal springboard for your own creations!

Want to see more children's books about the forest?

Epilogue

23 books that are just too good to leave off of our trees list.

  1. The Tree Lady - Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.

  2. Miss Twiggley's Tree - Funny Miss Twiggley, who lives in a house in a tree with a dog and bears, forgets her shyness and saves the townspeople when a flood hits the town.

  3. The Curvy Tree - The debut picture book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer Once upon a time, there was a little girl who didn’t quite fit in. When she runs away, she happens upon a curvy tree who helps her understand the importance of being different! This picture book stands alone, but also plays an important role in the Land of Stories series—making this a must-have book for fans and new readers alike!

  4. Maple - Lori Nichols’ enchanting debut features an irresistible, free-spirited, nature-loving little girl who greets the changing seasons and a new sibling with arms wide open. When Maple is tiny, her parents plant a maple tree in her honor. She and her tree grow up together, and even though a tree doesn’t always make an ideal playmate, it doesn’t mind when Maple is in the mood to be loud—which is often. Then Maple becomes a big sister, and finds that babies have their loud days, too. Fortunately, Maple and her beloved tree know just what the baby needs.

  1. The Giving Tree - ‘Once there was a tree…and she loved a little boy.’ So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return. Ages 10+

  2. The Tickle Tree - A group of children go on a strange voyage through a fantastic and whimsical land where tickle trees tickle and luminous frinks play hide-and-seek.

  3. Up in the Leaves - B is for Bookworm - I love that this book is based on a true story, and it’s fun that it has an epilogue at the end with a picture of the real Bob. The thing that makes this book are the illustrations!!! They are amazing. I love that this boy persists in building his tree houses and that he finds his escape into nature in Central Park.

  4. In My Tree - Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little owl’s tree so cozy. Is it little owl’s sturdy branch and snuggly roost? No, it’s his loving family! Bright pictures, reassuring messages, unique layered pages and an adorable felt finger puppet attached to each book combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!

  1. As an Oak Tree Grows - This inventive picture book relays the events of two hundred years from the unique perspective of a magnificent oak tree, showing how much the world can transform from a single vantage point. From 1775 to the present day, this fascinating framing device lets readers watch as human and animal populations shift and the landscape transitions from country to city. Methods of transportation, communication and energy use progress rapidly while other things hardly seem to change at all. This engaging, eye-opening window into history is perfect for budding historians and nature enthusiasts alike, and the time-lapse quality of the detail-packed illustrations will draw readers in as they pore over each spread to spot the changes that come with each new era. A fact-filled poster is included to add to the fun.

  2. We Planted a Tree - Simple text reveals the benefits of planting a single tree, both to those who see it grow and to the world as a whole.

  3. Chick Pea and the Changing Trees - Invites readers to pull the tabs in the book and experience the changing seasons along with Chick Pea and her friend Sweet Pea.

  4. Fall Is Not Easy - A tree tells why, out of all four seasons, autumn is the hardest.

  1. The Enchanted Wood - The Enchanted Wood is the first magical story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please? Come on an amazing adventure – there’ll be adventures waiting whatever happens. Enid Blyton’s funny, magical adventure stories have become true classics, loved by millions and still selling thousands of copies every year. She is arguably the most famous children’s author of all time, thanks to series such as The Wishing-Chair, The Faraway Tree­, The Mysteries, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven.

  2. Up the Faraway Tree - One day, Robin and Joy read about the Magic Faraway Tree in a book and decide to go meet Joe, Beth and Frannie themselves. The five children have all sorts of exciting adventures together, including being captured by the Enchanter Red-Cloak in the Land of Castles, a birthday treat for Joy in the Land of Wishes, and a delicious visit to the Land of Cakes!

  3. Tall Tall Tree - “High in a redwood tree is an unseen world of all kinds of animals. Readers will meet them through rhyming verses as they count them 1 to 10”—

  4. Little Acorn - B is for Bookworm - This board book is so cute, talking about how an acorn turns into a big tree! The illustrations are really fun, but the one thing I didn’t like was that there were a few spots where the rhyme scheme just doesn’t work.

  1. The 13-Story Treehouse - Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world! This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry. Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles! Join the fun with The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. This title has Common Core connections.

  2. The Things That I Love about Trees - Journey through the seasons and discover how much there is to love about trees! From brand-new buds in spring to the sound of the wind whooshing through the leaves in summer, from the fall colors to the feel of winter’s rough bark and the promise of spring returning again—no matter what time of year, there’s always something extraordinary to notice about the trees around your neighborhood. Chris Butterworth’s text, gently sprinkled with facts, captures the wonder of a child as Charlotte Voake’s busy, buoyant artwork conveys how something as simple and common as a tree can feel like magic taking root around you.

  3. Tree House Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #14) - From a high perch Benny discovers a clue to a hidden room with contents that surprise everyone.

  4. Ruby Holler - “You are now entering Ruby Holler, the one and only Ruby Holler! Your lives are never going to be the same—“ “Trouble twins” Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but they’re restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer and are changed forever.

  1. The Cow Who Climbed a Tree - Tina isn’t like the other cows. She believes that the sky is the limit and that everything is possible. But her sisters aren’t convinced—and when Tina tells them she has climbed a tree and met a dragon, they decide that her nonsense has gone too far. Off they go into the woods to find her…and soon discover a world of surprises!

  2. Lumber Jills - In World War II, Great Britain needed lumber to make planes, ships, and even newspapers—but there weren’t enough men to cut down the trees. Enter the fearless Lumber Jills! These young women may not have had much woodcutting experience, but they each had two hands willing to work and one stout heart, and they came together to do their part. Discover this lyrical story of home front heroism and female friendship.

  3. Lumberjack's Beard - Every day, Jim Hickory the lumberjack heads into the forest with his trusty axe and chops down trees. Unfortunately, all sorts of creatures lose their homes in the process, so Jim gives them a home in his beard - until one day it all just gets too much. Time for Jim to come up with a better solution! A story with a green message.

Did you enjoy our trees book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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