Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more non-fiction. I am thankful that she has this challenge because I know I have read more nonfiction texts as a result.

Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree 
by Kate Messner, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani

Summary via author page

Deep in the forest, in the warm-wet green, 1 almendro tree grows, stretching its branches toward the sun. Who makes their homes here?

2 great green macaws,
4 keel-billed toucans,
8 howler monkeys,
16 fruit bats,
32 fer-de-lance vipers,
64 agoutis,
128 blue morpho butterflies,
256 poison dart frogs,
512 rusty wandering spiders,
1,024 leafcutter ants.

Count each and every one as life multiplies again and again in this lush and fascinating book about the rainforest.

My thoughts: First, I really love the recent trend of decorating end papers. I love the shadows of animals on the forest colored background. I also liked the concept of showing the varied wildlife that is able to live because of the tree.

The inclusion of math added a fun layer to the text. Seeing the numbers doubling made me always wonder which animal could be coming next. I also enjoyed the extra math problems at the end of the story.

Messner also includes several ways to continue learning and/or to help save the rainforest or the animals living there.

Tree of Wonder will be a nice addition to our nonfiction collection. 


  1. I love those endpapers too, Crystal. The book, "8: An Animal Alphabet" has some lovely ones, too. I have this book about the wonder tree on hold at the library, and will get it soon I think. It sounds really good. Thanks!

  2. I've been discovering I'm sort of a sucker for any books with word problems in them.

  3. I love books that show how math is an integral part of the world around us. Traditionally the academic subjects are so strictly divided, and it can really be helpful for kids to see that the world is an interconnected place, and that math can be cool and have real world applications.

  4. I enjoyed this book too! Working with younger students, I think this will be a good fit!

  5. We had a tree-themed bibliography published just a few months ago, this would have been a good addition.