At a time of year when much seems dreary and black and white, Carole Gerber and Leslie Evans bring Winter Trees to life. The first word, “Crunch!” had me right there, exploring in the woods with the little boy and his dog. The lyrical rhyming quartets for each tree make it fun to read and the simple silhouette illustrations make what often seem like complicated structures of winter trees look simple and discernible. There are playful elements like the carving of initials in a heart on a beech tree, the boy and his dog making snow angels by a paper birch, and finally the building of a snowman that includes elements from several types of trees at the end. As Charlesbridge often does so nicely in its inclusion of extra educational material, this book concludes with a set of notes on the seven trees, including deciduous and evergreens, along with the silhouettes all side by side for comparison. I would highly recommend the other seasonal books by the Gerber and Evans duo, Leaf Jumpers and Spring Blossoms, if you haven’t read those yet as well. To read about an activity you can do to study maple trees, please visit the Cornerstones of Science website.
Suggested Ages – This book is great for young readers, who will like the rhyme and collage illustrations. It is also helpful as a field guide for slightly older readers who can learn the identification techniques detailed in the text and in the supplemental information following.