Naturalist Sara's Book Pick: 'Trees'

“Trees” is a lyrical nature book with stunning graphic illustrations that pays tribute to the beauty of trees and acknowledges their contributions to the world.

Photo by Sara Russell

Author and illustrator Carme Lemniscates moves through the seasons, looking at the function of trees — They give shade! And homes! And oxygen! — then letting children think about a world without them.


As a naturalist I love that “Trees” points out that while trees can’t move, they can “use their roots to communicate and help each other” as an adaptive strategy.


“Trees have their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground,” Lemniscates writes, asking young readers to identify with them. She thoughtfully uses trees as a gateway for children to explore friendship, fear and self-acceptance.


Lemniscates is an award-winning author, illustrator and designer of children’s books who sees each book as a total undertaking. While the language is simply poetic and beautiful, it’s her mixed-media approach, combining monotype, collage, woodcut and digital, that dazzles.


Each picture unfolds as a two-page spread that prioritizes texture in surprising ways.

This book will make adults and youngsters want to take it outside under the shade of a tree and pour over the illustrations. Then you’ll itch to take up finger painting to see what sort of trees you can make!