Bella and I are honored to launch the blog tour for Be a Tree written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Felicita Sala. This breathtaking picture book celebrating trees was recently released last week on March 30, 2021. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Abrams Book for Young Readers for sending me an electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Be a tree! Stand tall. Stretch your branches to the sun.
These ten words begin Gianferrari’s glorious ode extolling the sheer beauty of one of nature’s gifts and how humans have similar physical characteristics to this earthy treasure. Trees and humans both have parts such as branches and arms, trunks and spines, bark and skin, and a crown at the top. Sala’s warm watercolor illustrations gorgeously echo Gianferrari’s lyrical text showing the physical similarities so that even the youngest readers can see the connections.
The focus shifts from physical features to how we as humans also share common behaviors with trees. Both trees and humans live together in a community. Just as trees are linked underground through their roots, people are connected by sharing conversations, food, resources, and information.
Gianferrari’s admiration and respect for trees is evident, for she beautifully describes their value to both humans and the earth. Sala’s artwork fill the double page spreads depicting a tree’s grandeur and utility.
Gianferrari continues to highlight all the benefits of trees, for they serve as animal habitats preserving ecosystems. The need for community is emphasized for trees that grow away from their natural habitat are at risk; therefore, a forest is vital for support. A beautiful double page fold out shows how people can learn from trees by helping one another. In the final page spread, Gianferrari gently reminds us to observe and learn from trees, for by banding together, we can not only be better as individuals but also make the world in which we live a better place.
Backmatter follows the story to provide information on ways to help save trees and help in your community. A diagram of a tree and its parts as well as books and websites for further research are also included. Informative and uplifting, Be a Tree is a must to add to a home, classroom or school library. Highly recommend!
Praise for Be a Tree!
“This book has the advantage of lyrical, accessible poetry and vibrant watercolors from an ever changing palette. …Strong heartwood.”-Kirkus
“By foregrounding living beings that exemplify grace, strength, and endurance, Gianferrari gives readers a new way to think about their individual and collective existences.” –Publishers Weekly
Meet Maria: Maria Gianferrari has climbed fig trees in Italy, stood under stately coastal redwoods and twisted Torrey pines, marveled at mitten-shaped sassafras leaves, colorful coral trees and sawtooth oak acorn nests. She lives with her family, including dog, Maple, in a house encircled by trees.
Meet Felicita: Felicita is a self taught illustrator. She graduated in Philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She has worked on several animation projects along with husband Gianluca, but her passion is making picture books. She lives in Rome with Gianluca and their daughter Nina.
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway!
Maria’s sweet pup Maple announces that one lucky winner will receive a copy of Be a Treecourtesy of the publisher. This giveaway is open from April 9-14, 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.
Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Be a Tree giveaway tweet.
If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.
Be a Tree Blog Tour
Continue the tour by visiting blogs sharing their thoughts as well as offering their own giveaways!
I am an elementary reading specialist in Baltimore County. My goal is to build a community of readers at my school with both teachers and students.
I am also privileged to be a member of #bookexcursion, a group of 12 educators from all across the country who read, share, review, and promote new #kidlit releases.
Beagles and Books was created because in addition to books, I love my sweet beagles. Etta, a rescue from North Carolina joined our family in July 2010 and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February 2020. Bella, a rescue from South Carolina became part of the family in October 2017.
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