Friday, April 22, 2016

PPBF: A Tree For Me

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

A Tree For Me, a rhyming concept book
by Nancy Von Laan and Sheila White Samton
A Tree For Me

Written by  Nancy Van Laan
IIllustrated by Sheila White Samton
Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
Grades Kindergarten-3, Lexile 250L

Concept,  Counting, Poetry, Nature

"All around the hill where the brook runs free, I look, look, look for a tree for me. Big one, small one, skinny one, tall one, old one, fat one, I chose that one!"

A child rambles through the woods looking for the perfect tree to climb. He stumbles across wildlife, counting from one to five. It seems every place he wants to perch is already occupied. When he finally finds the perfect tree, the last verse of the story brings a satisfying circular ending with all the creatures he has encountered.

What I Love:
The concept may seem too simple, but the author pulls it off beautifully. Her rhymes are fun to read aloud and move the story, rather than bogging it down. The text captures a child's exuberance and wonder at the outdoors. Need more examples?
"Up I go to the tippy tip top. Uh-oh! Oh, no! Wait a minute. STOP! I'm mistaken. This one's taken."

Lots of white space surround the bright mixed media style. The illustrations are perfect for little fingers to point and squeal. They energize the already bouncy language and keep the reader turning pages. Perfect for National Poetry Month, Earth Day, or any day.


Pretzel and grape tree snack courtesy TheSeasonedMom
1. Teaching Books has teacher resources for A Tree For Me and other books by the author and illustrator.

2. Art imitates life! Art teacher Candace Ashment has a beautiful example of a collage project using the tracings of the students' hands. The Missing Piece uses quilts in the same way. Use her idea as a springboard kids can use to create woodland landscapes of their own.
3. Climb a tree. Take a nap. Trace the leaves. Start an acorn or pinecone collection.
4. HowtToNestForLess offers fun scavenger hunt printables to find outdoors or try the nature treasure hunt from TwinRocksOutdoorSchool.
5. HomeSchoolGiveawaysandFreebies offers a counting worksheet and other free resources focused on birds and their nests.
6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Susanna

Reviewed by Laura
Reviewed by GradeOnderful
Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Joanne

Join Mei Mei and Gong Gong
in their new book!
And please don't miss my review of Sylvia Liu's debut picture book,
A Morning With Grandpa. It's worth the look!

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, April 22, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. I like rhyming books that vary cadence like this. I met Nancy once at a local event. She is lovely!

    1. I wasn't familiar with her books before, but I'll be looking for more. It was fun to read aloud (several times)

  2. Hey! Thanks for the link-up! Love the tree snack you found for this and since I happen to have pretzel sticks and grapes, I may just 'grow a tree' for myself!

    1. You're welcome. Good timing :) Enjoy your snack!

  3. Love your tree theme today! I am not familiar with any of these books, so you have given me some fresh suggestions.. The tree snack is too adorable.

    1. I add to my list every Perfect Picture Book Friday. Thanks for joining me!

  4. A book about finding the perfect tree is perfect for arbor day! And...since I haven't read this book, I have a great reason to visit my library today.

    1. Right. I had to get outside today. Only here, it's me, my book, and my hammock. Have fun!

  5. Love the cover! This story is great for kids who love to climb trees (and what kid doesn't?)


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!