cover image Poetree


Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illus. by Shahrzad Maydani. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-53912-1

Reynolds explores the joy of unexpected kinship in this gentle springtime ode. A thoughtful girl welcomes spring with a poem, which she ties to a birch tree that stands atop a hill; the birch’s response precipitates a back-and-forth between the two. “White birch on the hill/ Speaks out loud through rustling leaves/ Great green Poetree,” the child writes in haiku form. The tree responds in kind: “I’ve wondered a while/ Can a tree and child be friends?/ Your words give me hope.” Maydani illustrates in airy pink, blue, and yellow pastel layers that call up the loveliness of the season. In one spread, readers will see Sylvia’s classmate Walt also visiting the tree. Both children are disappointed to learn that they were communicating with one another all along, but their mutual interest leads them to strike up a friendship of their own, and a useful message for all: “A friend of the tree is okay with me.” Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]