“Tree Spirits” by Louise Wannier

“Tree Spirits” by Louise Wannier 175 177 Reader Views Kids

Tree Spirits

Louise Wannier
True Roses, Inc. (2020)
ISBN: 978-0990997634
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (02/2023)

“Tree Spirits” by Louise Wannier is a stunningly beautiful storybook with characters formed by nature and revisioned by an artistic eye to show hidden animal designs in tree trunks. The story is rhythmic and challenges the reader to look further into the natural world around them. Each page shows a photograph of a tree and asks the child what form they see in the bark. The following pages use illustrations to overlap a photo showing the author’s animal image. The more you look at the pictures, the easier it becomes to visualize the hidden designs nature has crafted in the tree’s structure. As the reader continues searching for designs in the photographs, the story delves further to evoke the feelings of the child and questions which emotions the animals are feeling in the images they see. 

“Tree Spirits” is a wonderfully constructed distraction for parents and their children in a world overstimulated by media and cell phones. I am all for books that ask the reader to unplug and venture outside to discover the gifts hidden in nature. The photographs are bright and visually pleasing. The Illustrations by April Jackson are adorable and creatively displayed for younger children to locate with little instruction. The story length is perfect and will keep even the most challenging little ones entertained as they learn. The octopus hidden within tree roots is my favorite scene. I also like the inclusion of tracing paper for artistic fun once the child discovers tree spirits in their community. 

“Tree Spirits” is a creative story to experience and fun to read. It can also be used as a thought-provoking guide and learning opportunity for parents to expand upon. I can think of numerous crafts a parent or teacher could create to complement the lessons learned while reading this book. I can imagine sitting outside with my grandchildren, reading Louise Wannier’s book, and afterward creating adventures with the tree animals we locate in our yard. Our grandkids would enthusiastically give them names and missions that change with the day or weather. This book will do well in the family library, homeschool or elementary classroom, and daycare settings. I can see “Tree Spirits” selling well in gift stores, zoo museums, and children’s specialty stores.

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