One day this tree will fall

Leslie Barnard Booth

Book - 2024

A tree's life story is told from its beginnings as a seed to its survival in the wilderness until it finally falls, but continues its life as a log, an animal habitat, and finally decomposes to provide nutrition for future trees.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf jE/Barnardb (NEW SHELF) Due Apr 16, 2024
Children's Room New Shelf jE/Barnardb (NEW SHELF) Due Apr 25, 2024
Picture books
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books 2024.
Main Author
Leslie Barnard Booth (author)
Other Authors
Stephanie Fizer Coleman (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Grades 2-3.
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

The story began "long, long ago," when a tree released its seeds. Carried by the wind, they landed on rocks and in streams. Most were eaten, but some put down roots. One grew into a tree that endured despite wind, ice, droughts, and even a fire that burned nearby trees. When loggers came and hauled away surrounding trees, they left this battered, broken, and wounded one, which tries to heal itself. Birds eat its seeds and build their nests in its remaining branches, while other animals crawl into its crevices for protection. Someday, after it becomes "just a log," it will be teeming with life, providing shelter, protection, and ultimately nutrients for other living things. The well-defined, energetic illustrations were created using gouache, colored pencils, and digital elements. In the text, Barnard Booth takes the life cycle of trees and turns it into the story of a particular tree. The underlying ideas are discussed more fully in the back matter. Celebrating the interdependence of living things within their ecosystem, this well-crafted picture book reads aloud beautifully.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Taking a remarkably resilient Douglas fir as this picture book's subject, Barnard Booth expansively tracks the conifer's life cycle. Initial spreads tell a familiar story of transformation, from seed to sapling to weather-worn and fire-ravaged tree. "This tree's story might have ended that day," muses text before describing additional developments as the plant endures more damage, ages, dies, and collapses to the forest floor, where it decomposes and becomes "a perfect place...// for the next seed to settle." Throughout the tree's many life stages, forest creatures of myriad types both leave their mark and make their home, underscoring the central role that trees play in a larger ecosystem. Employing gouache, colored pencil, and digital techniques, Fizer Coleman's wildlife-filled scenes transpire against fuzzy, textured backgrounds and tree trunks, allowing more realistic renderings to stand out. Notes, a glossary, and sources conclude. Ages 4--8. (Mar.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Horn Book Review

"LOOK AT IT. Wounded, worn, twisted, torn. / One day this tree will fall / and this story will end. / Won't it?" So begins this Pacific Northwest-set saga of one tree surviving when other giants around it don't. There are so many ways the tree might not have stood. From the very beginning, other seeds landed on bare rock and didn't live, or dropped into a stream, or were eaten. But this tree thrived, despite wind, drought, ice, and fire. And not only survived. "This tree flourished. This tree aged" and became its own ecosystem, "a world / of miniature forests / meadows / rivers / seas... / of silken death traps / and venomous fangs, / of bright, begging mouths / and fluttering wings." Lively, poetic writing and beautiful illustrations in a rich palette, which emphasize unique angles and close-up images of the tree's denizens, combine for a volume perfect for reading aloud, and not only in science classes. Even the youngest of readers and listeners will grasp the concepts of ecosystems and the continuity of life. A model of what an excellent STEM-focused picture book can be in its effective interplay of text and illustrations. Appended is a discussion of the science behind a tree's life, death, and life after death. Dean SchneiderMarch/April 2024 p.107 (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The long and busy life of a tree, from one small seed that beats the odds to a fertile locale for another, later one to grow. Booth begins with a tiny, windblown Douglas fir seed and follows its history from seedling on--through years of damage from storms and cold, drought and fire that leave it "wounded, worn, twisted, torn"--but at every stage nurturing the lives around it by providing places for birds and butterflies to rest, for spiders to spin their webs, and for woodpeckers to excavate nesting cavities that later shelter other wildlife. Even after the tree finally falls, its story doesn't end, for it becomes home to fungi, insects, earthworms, and microscopic creatures. The author discusses this steady, long-term "nutrient cycling" more specifically in her afterword and closes with a nod to the past and present efforts of Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, where this tale is set, to sustainably "steward, restore, and diversify forests." In close-up views, Fizer Coleman poses meticulously detailed pine forest flora and fauna near, on, and inside an increasingly battered, mossy trunk that stands in one scene amid logged stumps of straighter trees and finally lies as a brown bed beneath a tiny, needled successor. "One day this tree will fall / and this story will end. / Won't it?" Readers will come away with a more perspicuous answer to that pointed final question. A lyrical evocation of an essential natural cycle. (glossary, source list) (Informational picture book. 6-9) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.