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Under My Tree

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A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree. When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the sc A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree. When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the scratchy surface of its bark. This is a wonderful introduction to trees for young children that gently cultivates an appreciation for nature. Interwoven in the fiction text are unique facts about trees and simple activities that encourage readers to touch, smell, and observe the world that is all around them.


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A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree. When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the sc A modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree. When Susanne leaves her city home to visit her grandmother, she finds a very special tree of her own in the forest. Each time she returns to the tree, she observes something unique about it—from the sheltering protection of its branches to the scratchy surface of its bark. This is a wonderful introduction to trees for young children that gently cultivates an appreciation for nature. Interwoven in the fiction text are unique facts about trees and simple activities that encourage readers to touch, smell, and observe the world that is all around them.

30 review for Under My Tree

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    5 Stars for the illustrations While the illustrations are quite lovely and colourful, the story itself comes across like a teacher’s copy, with little “comments / facts” that the reader, I suppose, is meant to direct to the child, which stops any flow to this story. If this were meant to be a non-fiction book, it would be appropriate. I found them to be an unnecessary disruption, and would be better suited at the end of the book, if at all. A young girl is walking through the forest with her grand 5 Stars for the illustrations While the illustrations are quite lovely and colourful, the story itself comes across like a teacher’s copy, with little “comments / facts” that the reader, I suppose, is meant to direct to the child, which stops any flow to this story. If this were meant to be a non-fiction book, it would be appropriate. I found them to be an unnecessary disruption, and would be better suited at the end of the book, if at all. A young girl is walking through the forest with her grandmother, whom she is visiting, when she first meets ‘her’ tree, which has noises coming from it. An owl and her babies. She returns every day of her visit, and likes to run her fingers over the bark, and hug the tree. She hopes it doesn’t hurt the tree, and decides that the first secret is that ’you have to touch a tree if you really want to talk to it.’ On her second visit she climbs the tree, finding out as she climbed that ’each branch split again and again like a labyrinth.’ And then she climbs to the top where she is rewarded with ’a spectacular view stretching beyond the forest’s edge.’ Soon the end of summer arrives, and it’s time for her to return home with her mother. This story was a disappointment even without the comparison to Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, which it is said to be a “modern take” of. I’m not opposed to books with a message for children, but it should be part of the story. When a story lacks fluidity, I can’t imagine a child wanting to hear it again, or a parent wanting to read it to them again, even with such beautiful illustrations. Pub Date: 21 April 2020 Many thanks for the ARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC / Blue Dot Kids Press

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eva 🌻

    I would rate this a 3.5 ⭐️ Under My Tree follows Susanna, a young girl who finds a tree she loves in the forest near her Grandparent's home. She visits the tree, does activities there, and so on. The book has tidbits like fun facts about trees and suggestions for kids to create an interactive experience. The illustrations were great, I thought the story was a bit odd/cheesy, it didn't seem overly realistic for today's day and age. I think it would be best if read to young children. Also, I enjoye I would rate this a 3.5 ⭐️ Under My Tree follows Susanna, a young girl who finds a tree she loves in the forest near her Grandparent's home. She visits the tree, does activities there, and so on. The book has tidbits like fun facts about trees and suggestions for kids to create an interactive experience. The illustrations were great, I thought the story was a bit odd/cheesy, it didn't seem overly realistic for today's day and age. I think it would be best if read to young children. Also, I enjoyed the blurbs and the suggestions/fun facts, but I can't imagine how that would work reading to a group of kids, or even one. It breaks up the story in an odd way. However, I think the topic and information is great and important to teach kids! This book could definitely be used in a classroom scenario. Thanks to NetGalley for the free preview in exchange for an honest review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    No, sorry, no matter what the publisher wanted us to believe, this is not a modern take on Shel Silverstein's book "The Giving Tree". True, the tree is lovely, and doesn't get chopped down in the end, so that part is nice, but no, this is simply a story about a little girl that loves a tree at her grandmother's house and wants to spend all her time with it. And that is it. The pictures are very colorful. But there is no story there. There are little facts thrown into every page though. So I suppos No, sorry, no matter what the publisher wanted us to believe, this is not a modern take on Shel Silverstein's book "The Giving Tree". True, the tree is lovely, and doesn't get chopped down in the end, so that part is nice, but no, this is simply a story about a little girl that loves a tree at her grandmother's house and wants to spend all her time with it. And that is it. The pictures are very colorful. But there is no story there. There are little facts thrown into every page though. So I supposed that is useful. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    This is a sweet little picture book about a child who loves a tree she visits when she stays with her grandparents. Pages go into details of how she loves the way it feels, the way so many insects live on it, the smell of its fruit and so on. Little blurbs give facts or challenges on many pages. I read it to my 8 year old last night at bedtime and she liked it, though she said, "I kinda feel like she's throwing some shade at her grandma, saying her favorite thing about visiting is spending time This is a sweet little picture book about a child who loves a tree she visits when she stays with her grandparents. Pages go into details of how she loves the way it feels, the way so many insects live on it, the smell of its fruit and so on. Little blurbs give facts or challenges on many pages. I read it to my 8 year old last night at bedtime and she liked it, though she said, "I kinda feel like she's throwing some shade at her grandma, saying her favorite thing about visiting is spending time with a tree!". ;) It also seems a little weird that she supposedly lives in such an urban setting that she can't have a favorite tree at home, and that spending time with a big tree in a forest would be that gratifying. The blurb about this book says that it's a modern day Giving Tree, and I disagree completely. There is no personified relationship between this child and this tree. She simply likes spending time there. The tree doesn't give her gifts, and there is no theme about selfishness or selflessness. It's a sweet celebration of nature with nice illustrations and some facts about trees. It doesn't need an artificial comparison with a great classic to sell it. I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashlyn

    Review originally published here: https://ashlynmadani.wixsite.com/them... Zzzzzzzz .... Oh, sorry. Let me wake up to write this review after reading this book. In Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier, Susanne is visiting her grandparents' house. One day, she goes on a walk with her grandma, but it starts raining. They find shelter under a tree and find an owl with their babies. Susanne then determines that this is her tree and visits it every day. At the end of summer, her mom comes to pick Susann Review originally published here: https://ashlynmadani.wixsite.com/them... Zzzzzzzz .... Oh, sorry. Let me wake up to write this review after reading this book. In Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier, Susanne is visiting her grandparents' house. One day, she goes on a walk with her grandma, but it starts raining. They find shelter under a tree and find an owl with their babies. Susanne then determines that this is her tree and visits it every day. At the end of summer, her mom comes to pick Susanne up and she has to leave her tree, but she will always remember their friendship and will visit the tree on vacations. Well, I'm not really sure where to start. Did I like this book? No. Would I buy this book? No. First off, I didn't get the point of the story. By the end, I was thinking, 'Was that it?' The answer was yes. I guess I was expecting more of a story than what I read. Also, it was extremely boring. I would not want to read this to my child out loud because I would not want to read this myself. We just went through Susanne going to her tree six days in a row doing different things. The illustrations were not that great. I mean, yes, they are way better than what I could do, but it just doesn't seem like it would capture the interest of a child. I will say, the one thing I liked about the book was in the bottom corner of some of the pages there was a "Try this!" or "Did you know?" section. Honestly, that was my favorite part of the book. Maybe this book would be better for a child if you take it outside and read it to them under a tree. I think it is supposed to be for children who ask "Why" and "What" all the time. So, it might work for you if your child wants to learn more about trees. I don't see this as a book that will get read more than once, so maybe just pick it up from the library if you want to read it with your child. I would recommend this for ages 4 to 7. Personally, I don't ever want to read it again, which is a problem when your child wants to read books on repeat. I just didn't like the way it was written or the storyline. Maybe it is just me though. You might end up loving it. I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I won this via FirstReads, it arrived serendipitously on Earth Day. It's beautifully illustrated, interactive book to share with children. It's called a modern day version of The Giving Tree, and I much prefer it as the child doesn't destroy the tree. It is a sweet and simple, yet engaging story. I will make a great read-a-loud.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Fernandez

    Originally published at Mr. Alex's Bookshelf: https://mralexbookshelf.com/2020/05/2... Inspired by her own daughter, Under My Tree is Tallendier’s first foray into picture books. The book was originally written in French. Quick Rating: Do Not Buy Summary Susanne, who lives in the city, spends many vacations with her Grandparents who live near the woods. During one such vacation she discovers a tree while walking with her Grandmother in the forest. Susanne gets to know the tree over many visits, thei Originally published at Mr. Alex's Bookshelf: https://mralexbookshelf.com/2020/05/2... Inspired by her own daughter, Under My Tree is Tallendier’s first foray into picture books. The book was originally written in French. Quick Rating: Do Not Buy Summary Susanne, who lives in the city, spends many vacations with her Grandparents who live near the woods. During one such vacation she discovers a tree while walking with her Grandmother in the forest. Susanne gets to know the tree over many visits, their relationship strengthening with each one. Illustrations Fujisaway’s illustrations of nature are lyrical. She delineates the special tree from the rest of the forest by providing more graceful, less symmetrical arcs. The special tree’s uniqueness comes through and it teems with life. The natural surroundings are inspired and add depth to the book. Fujisaway’s illustrations of humans, however, are less inspired. I cannot figure out whether this was on purpose or not. But, the humans are not rendered with the same attention as the rest of the elements in the book. This proves distracting. No Space on My Bookshelf I’ve seen the book advertised as “[a] modern take on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree that celebrates the friendship between a curious child and her favorite tree.” If that was the aim of the book, I don’t think it quite hits its mark; at least not in this translation. Silverstein’s prose in The Giving Tree is simple and consistent. His words are sparse and carefully chosen to evoke reaction and symbiosis. There is definitely a relationship in the Silverstein book–whether or not it’s a healthy one is left to the reader. Indeed the boy and the tree in The Giving Tree speak to each other. The language in Under My Tree, however, is more descriptive, consisting mainly of Susanne’s admiration for the tree. Yes, she likes the tree; even loves it. But why is this tree different from all the other ones? That, is not so clear. Moreover, the prose in Under My Tree, perhaps as translated, is problematic. It is sometimes inspired, sometimes clumsy. Let’s take a look at the following passage: "The second visit, I decided to climb my tree. I had to get to know her! I found out that she is very complicated. As I climbed up, each branch split again and again like a labyrinth. When I reached the top, I got my reward: a spectacular view stretching beyond the forest’s edge. It was wonderful." Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Reading like a bad translation, we are left with a list of things Susane did with the tree that day. So what? Uninspired prose does not hold attention; no matter how pretty the pictures. Compare that paragraph with the following one a few pages later: "Thanks to my tree, I could tell that summer was ending. Her leaves started to drop off, the air cooled, and the sunset came earlier." Much better. Much more lyrical. Perhaps a better translation. The words dance in the mind along with the pictures on the page. Uneven writing (or translation, or indeed editing) lends itself to confusion and a wandering mind. One last note, the book also contains factoids in the form of “leaves” that appear on certain pages provind reading prompts and things to do. These are distracting and take away from the story. They should have been placed in an activity section at the end of the book. Uneven illustrations, writing and editing don’t lend themselves to good storytelling. In short, there are too many distractions to keep this book on my bookshelf. My thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing an Advance Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This book explores a child's relationship with a tree. The pages have sidebars with fun facts about trees and ideas for tree-related activities, but I found that looking at these notes disrupted the experience of reading the story. If I were reading this to a child, I would read the main text first and then go back to the facts and suggestions. What I found even more strange about this book is the focus on how the little girl spends so much time with this tree while she is visiting her grandmothe This book explores a child's relationship with a tree. The pages have sidebars with fun facts about trees and ideas for tree-related activities, but I found that looking at these notes disrupted the experience of reading the story. If I were reading this to a child, I would read the main text first and then go back to the facts and suggestions. What I found even more strange about this book is the focus on how the little girl spends so much time with this tree while she is visiting her grandmother. If this were a tree that was in her backyard, or at a local park, the story would make more sense, but instead, we're supposed to believe that a tree, not her grandmother, was the focus of the visit. It's an odd choice for the narrative, because it's distracting to think about Grandma being rejected when poor Grandma didn't even need to be in the story at all, and this could have just been about a girl and a tree. Still, this book has a nice illustrations, is educational, and encourages children to explore nature. There are many children's books about nature that view trees in a mystical and fantastical way, and even though this imagination can be fun, it's also important for there to also be matter-of-fact books about botany. Despite the weird elements of this book, I am rating it three stars for filling this gap in the picture books available to families and educators. This isn't going to be anyone's favorite storybook to return to again and again, but it fulfills its purpose as an educating tool. I received an advance copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Literature Lattes

    "Under My Tree" is a new children's book that encourages eco stewardship through a fun story about a little girl who loves a tree. Author Muriel Tallandier tells the story of the child who finds the tree while walking with her grandmother through the forest. The book details the different seasons of the year and how those seasons change the interactions between the girl and the tree. The book is great because it highlights the different things that kids normally learn about in science class. Con "Under My Tree" is a new children's book that encourages eco stewardship through a fun story about a little girl who loves a tree. Author Muriel Tallandier tells the story of the child who finds the tree while walking with her grandmother through the forest. The book details the different seasons of the year and how those seasons change the interactions between the girl and the tree. The book is great because it highlights the different things that kids normally learn about in science class. Concepts like the seasons, different parts of the tree and others are explained and explored in the book. This makes this book both educational while still being fun to read. The best part of the book are the colorful and vibrant illustrations. This is clearly no ordinary tree! The only issue that I had with the book is that at the end of the book, the girl picks a leaf to remember the tree by. This act goes against the entire environmental stewardship premise of the book. I wish that the author would have written that portion a different way. Other than that, the book is great and has a lot of useful information for children and adults alike!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning, but I'm afraid that's where the attraction ends. In short, it feels as if someone made a list of facts they wanted kids to know about trees and then proceeded to write a story surrounding that. The story doesn't flow well and the suggestions on each page ("Try this!" and "Did you know?") do not suit a storybook like this one. A story about a relationship betw I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning, but I'm afraid that's where the attraction ends. In short, it feels as if someone made a list of facts they wanted kids to know about trees and then proceeded to write a story surrounding that. The story doesn't flow well and the suggestions on each page ("Try this!" and "Did you know?") do not suit a storybook like this one. A story about a relationship between a girl and her tree had the potential to be magical (and educational) but the story must have the highest priority. Otherwise, write a nonfiction book. I was sad that I didn't love this one, especially when the illustrations are so beautiful. I will also add that I didn't like the actual text on the page. It's narrow and thin and the quotes are headed off by a hyphen, like this: -"Thank you, friend, for making me so happy." It just didn't appeal to the eyes and these things matter greatly when trying to entice children to love a book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    That One Librarian

    Under My Tree is a sweet little picture book from Blue Dot Kids Press, written by Muriel Tallandier and illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa. Blue Dot is a very small press, publishing only ten books a year and focusing on fiction and narrative nonfiction for ages 0-8. Under My Tree is firmly in the fiction category, though some pages include side-bars with factual tidbits. The illustrations are very soft and will read as nostalgic for some adult readers. The story is simple and follows a young girl a Under My Tree is a sweet little picture book from Blue Dot Kids Press, written by Muriel Tallandier and illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa. Blue Dot is a very small press, publishing only ten books a year and focusing on fiction and narrative nonfiction for ages 0-8. Under My Tree is firmly in the fiction category, though some pages include side-bars with factual tidbits. The illustrations are very soft and will read as nostalgic for some adult readers. The story is simple and follows a young girl as she visits her favorite tree during the warm months, observing and learning about the tree. There's a bit of disconnect in the young tone of the narrative and the apparent age of the main character, who seems older. All characters present white. Under My Tree doesn't add much to the wealth of tree picture books available, but for the right reader it might be just the right one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Although, Under My Tree does not have the same tone, humor, or style of The Giving Tree, I do appreciate the publisher making the connection because one of the things I liked most about this picture book was that the relationship between the tree and child was not dependent on the complete destruction of the titular tree. But other than there being a tree and a kid, there is not much else that is the same in these two books. The tree is not given a personality and we don't see Susanne's whole li Although, Under My Tree does not have the same tone, humor, or style of The Giving Tree, I do appreciate the publisher making the connection because one of the things I liked most about this picture book was that the relationship between the tree and child was not dependent on the complete destruction of the titular tree. But other than there being a tree and a kid, there is not much else that is the same in these two books. The tree is not given a personality and we don't see Susanne's whole lifespan. What makes Under My Tree a worthwhile book, in my opinion, is not only the story teaching about trees and the seasons, but specifically all the interactive questions and activities that are included throughout the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    In this story, a little girl named Susanne has a special tree at her grandparents' house that she loves to spend time with. Susanne describes how she gets to know and love her tree by using her senses to explore all of its wonders. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, containing vivid colors that draw the reader into the text. The story is fictional but is infused with factual tidbits. Stopping points with questions and activities to engage the reader are also included throughout. This m In this story, a little girl named Susanne has a special tree at her grandparents' house that she loves to spend time with. Susanne describes how she gets to know and love her tree by using her senses to explore all of its wonders. The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, containing vivid colors that draw the reader into the text. The story is fictional but is infused with factual tidbits. Stopping points with questions and activities to engage the reader are also included throughout. This makes it ideal for both classroom use and diving deeper into the natural world around you with a parent or a friend. #UnderMyTree #NetGalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kayla TM

    This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are lovely with bright colors that stay consistent throughout. The book has a wonderful message about appreciating the beauty of the world, as it lives and breathes. It is geared more toward four and five year olds (my child is too young still to get her input on it, she just wants to tear the pages.) Most of the pages include facts or questions to further discussion about the natural aspects of the story and engage a child further. I would’ve liked to This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are lovely with bright colors that stay consistent throughout. The book has a wonderful message about appreciating the beauty of the world, as it lives and breathes. It is geared more toward four and five year olds (my child is too young still to get her input on it, she just wants to tear the pages.) Most of the pages include facts or questions to further discussion about the natural aspects of the story and engage a child further. I would’ve liked to see the story be a little more circular or flow a little bit more since it reads a little choppy with actions happening but never really contributing to the story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I received an electronic ARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC through NetGalley. Short read aloud for families. The child connects with a tree in the forest near her grandparents' home. She finds it on a walk with her grandmother. Every day she goes back and discovers more about the tree and the environment. Soft color illustrations enhance the sense of comfort and peace in the story. Don't miss the facts and challenges included on several pages. A delightful story to share and then explore natu I received an electronic ARC from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC through NetGalley. Short read aloud for families. The child connects with a tree in the forest near her grandparents' home. She finds it on a walk with her grandmother. Every day she goes back and discovers more about the tree and the environment. Soft color illustrations enhance the sense of comfort and peace in the story. Don't miss the facts and challenges included on several pages. A delightful story to share and then explore nature together.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Under My Tree is a lovely story that filled my heart with happiness and joy. The illustrations are gorgeous and the text encourages children to see the beauty and importance in trees and nature. I loved that many pages have a "did you know" or "try this" text feature that provides more context on the importance of the story. A great read-aloud for Earth Day as well!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan Reyna

    Beautifully illustrated book demonstrating a young girl's love for a tree at her Grandparents' property. I really appreciate the facts and suggested activities disbursed throughout the story. Educational and touching to the tree-hugger part of me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    A lovely book, but I received a digital copy and although I could see the illustrations (and text!) were beautiful, the format just didn't do it justice. I appreciated the story, though, and I hope at some point I can lay my hands on the hard copy version, so I can appreciate it in its entirety!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bill Alliston

    A wonderful book with great writing and artwork with soul.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This is a beautiful book! It teaches kids the importance of trees and to care for them. I loved the side notes and interactions on the pages. My 4 year old loves the book!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    French import. Overly wordy for what it is. This is a love letter to nature, but kids are going to have to be patient to sit through it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  25. 4 out of 5

    Richelle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annese

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

  28. 5 out of 5

    Blue Dot Kids

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angela

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