If I Were a Tree
By Andrea Zimmerman
Illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong
If I were a tree, I know how I'd be.
My trunk strong and wide, my limbs side to side,
I'd stand towering tall, high above all,
My leaves growing big, and buds on each twig.
If I were a tree, that's how I'd be.
The sister has camped in the forest many times before. The brother is nervous for his first overnight trip. As the illustrations in this multifaceted picture book show the siblings discovering the woods, the text celebrates the strength and grace of the trees that surround them, through evocative verse that speaks to all five senses:
If I were a tree, I know what I'd smell.
Sweet honey and bees, and skunk on the breeze.
I'd smell smoke in the air, the breath of a bear,
Old fungus decay, and rain on the way.
If I were a tree, that's what I'd smell.
And with this new knowledge, the siblings are able to overcome their greatest challenge yet. Together, Andrea Zimmerman's wise poem and Jing Jing Tsong's kaleidoscopic art show how connections with the natural world can inspire us to live fully in the present and look hopefully to the future.
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About the Creators
Andrea Zimmerman is the author of thirteen picture books, including Train Man, Fire Engine Man, Digger Man, Trashy Town, and Dig!. Her books have been named Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club and ALA Notable books, and have received multiple starred reviews. Married to artist David Clemesha, who illustrates many of her titles, she lives in San Diego, California. You can visit her website at andreaanddavid.com.
Jing Jing Tsong’s debut picture book, A Bucket of Blessings, written by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal, was a New York Times bestseller. She is well-known for her multilayered, textured illustrations in books like Trees, Before We Met, and Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear. A musician and surfer as well as an artist, she lives on an island in Washington State. Find her on the web at jingjingtsong.com.