If I Were a Tree

By Publishers Weekly

In this sensory rhyming narrative, two parents—one brown-skinned and one light-skinned—and their two children, who each take after one of the adults, pack their bags and head out of the city to a camping site. Through a first-person perspective, Zimmerman centers the children’s imaginations as they explore the outdoors, utilizing the refrain “if I were a tree” in evocative rhymes that follow each of the senses. For sight: “If I were a tree, I know what I’d see./ Hills misty with fog, the life in a log.” Tsong’s colorfully layered, stamped landscapes, created using traditional printmaking techniques and digital collage, enhance the appeal of this tree-focused venture that will encourage young readers to meditate upon nature. Back matter contains a brief guide to exploring trees with each of the five senses.