If I Could Talk to the Trees: Children’s Outdoor Adventures (If I Could Books)
Carol Weygandt Smedley
Outskirts Press (2020)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
This is another book I’ve read recently written by a grandma (AKA: “Mom Mom”) who loves sharing adventures and wished to share them with my grandchildren and every other child on the planet—and I want to compliment all grandmothers who do this. The added bonus here is the fact that we’re also talking about a woman who loves nature and photography, so we get to view the amazing pictures of the natural world and all its creatures as we go on this adventure with her and her grandson, Owen.
Beginning with Owen fishing by the river behind Mom Mom’s house, they pack a lunch and head out to see the forest. Through Owen’s questions about the stunning things he sees along the way (combined with his grandmother’s bright, colorful pictures), readers get to stop, watch and learn all about the mighty bald eagle, the woodpecker and the deer. We get to see pictures of trees that transform with the seasons, changing into those bright red colors of autumn to a whole lot more. From boats to pieces of a tree that were chewed up by certain creatures to make their home, to the cool weeping willows that have a unique “hanging” look to them instead of the other branches of “normal” trees that seem to reach up and out for the sunshine they need to grow.
There is such an exploration of areas in this book, that everything is explained when it comes to nature and the “friendship” trees have with the earth and animals that live all around them. Owen even gets to stop by the mother frog’s place and talk about her tadpoles, and view the geese, before the adventure comes to an end and a message of thanks is offered to Owen from one tree you’ll find particularly amusing.
Teaching about these trees provides an excellent guide so that kids can realize the wonder of them, as well as see how many benefits they provide to both humans and animals. The education is equal to the entertainment child(ren) will collect from diving head-first into these pages. In addition, if you wish to find out more about the trees Mom Mom’s talking about, the author lists findtheforest.org that offers everything from games and activities to information on the “Discover the Forest” campaign, and a whole lot more, which is a very cool thing to check out!
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