I’m always on the hunt for fantastic read-aloud science books for science lessons. Rise to the Sky: How the World’s Tallest Trees Grow Up by Rebecca E. Hirsch and illustrated by Mia Posada (Millbrook, April 2023) is not just an children’s informational book about trees. It is also a nice read aloud and a gorgeously illustrated picture book.
The illustrations are made with torn paper collage and watercolor. It makes everything just pop off the page in 3-d. When the various papers overlap, we see a new variety of color, which is just perfect for trees and plants, where we can find so many different greens and browns. I love to see the textures of the paper at the edges of the illustrations.
The instructional material in this picture book is just the right amount for a read aloud. Early elementary kids will most likely have the patience to listen because the text nicely aligns with the illustrations. With an emphasis on the tallest trees in the world (as the title indicates), Rise to the Sky begins with comparing the world’s tallest trees to various world landmarks, then it begins at the beginning: a seed. The book explains photosynthesis (without using the term) as well as the need for water and air, and how these needs are used in a very tall tree. Font shifts and page breaks give visual interest to the informational text.
Five pages of end matter explain more about where the tallest trees can be found, definitions for parts of a tree, frequently asked questions, and activities. An all around great nonfiction picture book!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.