If I Were a Tree

By Kirkus Reviews

Enjoy and observe nature with all your senses.

A family of color embarks on an adventure in the great outdoors. On their way to the campsite and when they get there, the children repeatedly declare, “If I were a tree,” then imagine exploring the world from the trees’ perspectives. They imagine seeing (“a web draped with dew, the dawn turning blue”), touching (“nests on my bark, bats hiding till dark”), smelling (“sweet honey and bees, and skunk on the breeze”), tasting (“waters that flood, and minerals in mud”), and hearing (“snakes in a hole, the sneeze of a mole”) their surroundings. As the children wander through the forest, the rhyming verses and simple text engage children in the fun. Readers will delight in the breathtaking illustrations. Double-page spreads are rich and vibrant, Tsong using the colors of nature to evoke a warm and inviting environment. The combination of printmaking and digital collage creates an abundance of depth and texture to each illustration. From an aerial view of a tiny tent in a vast forest to a close-up look at a dazzling spiderweb, the varying perspective reveals more and more with each page turn. Mom presents Asian, and Dad has brown skin, with one child taking after each; the book thus adds valuable representation to the nature genre. A concluding spread offers tree-related extension prompts.

Young readers will want to experience this book over and over again.