What Do You See When You Look at a Tree?

by | Jun 13, 2024 | Book Review, Picture Book

What do you see when you look at a tree cover

Book Details

What Do You See When You Look at a Tree?
Emma Carlisle. London: Big Picture Press, pb, 978 1 80078 438 3, 2023, £8.99, 40pp
Picture book, 4-7 years


Beginning with the question in the title, the rhyming text continues in an interrogative manner, focusing on both facts and feelings.

Addressed directly to child readers, they are encouraged to look closely and realise that ‘Trees are all different, special, unique…’ as well as consider their history and the wildlife that lives within and around them and learn “How to Be More Like a Tree’. In an endnote there is acknowledgement of the ‘wood wide web’ communication network that functions amongst trees and fungi.

The illustrations are broadly representational of some of the species of trees mentioned – they are not intended to function as an identification guide. The people depicted are smiling and cheerful and the wildlife is universally shown at peace. A warm palette predominantly of greens and browns has been used in creating pictures in mixed media in what appears to be a paint wash with pastels or charcoal used for texture.

Some while ago I put together a wide-ranging list of children’s books about trees and since then, I have taken an interest in new books around this theme. The volume under review is certainly one I would add to that list.


Review by Ann Lazim