Tree Whispers by Mandy Ross

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

The picture book Tree Whispers: A Forest of Poems by Mandy Ross and illustrated by Juliana Oakley (Child’s Play May 2023) collects brief poems about trees which encourage children to get outside to enjoy nature. Most of the poems are conversational, and some don’t read like poems to me at all. The deceptively simple child-like illustrations were bright and gave personality to the friendly trees and diverse people illustrated enjoying nature.

The friendly tone on each page invites a young child to be a part of nature. For example, one page encourages a child to act like a tree and another page encourages examination of the insects under a tree and/or in a forest. Forest conservation is also mentioned toward the end of the book. One of my favorite pages was “Trees Breathe,” which focuses on explaining the concept of photosynthesis without saying that word. Another favorite of mine was “Count My Rings,” which explains how the tree’s inside rings tell the years of growth, with a reminder that cutting a tree to count the rings then stops that growth.

Overall, Tree Whispers feels a little bit immature for many elementary aged children, but selections from the book may help supplement learning about trees, and the colorful illustrations will capture a listener’s interest.

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.

Reviewed on May 31, 2023

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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