Friday, April 26, 2013

PPBF: Poetrees

Perfect Picture Book Friday


Author/Illustrator: Douglas Florian
Publisher/Date: Beach Lane Books/2010
Genre/Audience: Poetry/Ages 6+
Themes: trees, poetry

First Poem - "The Seed" (written in a cyclical form as a figure eight)
"Inside this seed you'll find a stem and leaf that grow with rain into a trunk and branch and leaf and seed that starts again."

Synopsis: (From Booklist)

"Starting with the book’s title and ending with a final glossatree, the wordplay in Florian’s latest poetry collection provides plenty of fun. Each of the 18 poems celebrates the wonder of trees, from the giant sequoia (the world’s tallest trees) and the Banyan (an acre in its canopy) to the bristlecone pine, one of the oldest trees on earth (alive for fifty cen-trees). Each poem is printed on a vertical double-page spread illustrated with mixed-media artwork in gouache, watercolor, colored pencil, rubber stamps, oil pastels, and collage on brown paper bags. The dramatic swirling visuals sometimes swamp the words, but the blurry images do leave room for kids to use their imaginations as they interpret the poems. The big pages are well suited for group sharing, as are the playful puns (Lovely leaves / Leave me in awe). The final fascinating notes on each tree, and on leaves, stems, and roots, spell out the call for conservation that is part of the poetry and pictures." Grades 3-6. --Hazel Rochman

Why I Love This Book
Here is another excellent book to pair April's designation as National Poetry Month and the April environmental holidays of Earth Day and Arbor Day, which is today! Florian is a master of wordplay and he uses a variety of poetry forms. In this book, he deals with parts of a tree ("Roots", "Leaves", "Bark") and specific trees ("Oak", "Coconut Palm", "Paper Birch"). This collection is rich in familiar and not-so familiar trees and offers a helpful glossary ("glossatree"!) at the end.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. I love Douglas Florian's work. For a non-poet (like me!) I find his work accessible and playful.

  2. Lovely choice Laura. I was hoping someone would review a book for Arbor Day. This sounds delightful. The illustrations are fun. Checked out his website. Don't believe I've seen Florians work before, but I like it alot.

  3. This looks beautiful and interesting, Laura. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Love your choice for the various celebrations this month. Well done, Laura!

  5. I love the title! This looks like a book I will enjoy reading to my son. Thanks for sharing it!