Books for preschoolers: trees are homes
June 13, 2018 10:00 AM   Subscribe

Please help me find some preschool appropriate books to read with kids during a program about how a big tree is a home to many living creatures from eagles to raccoons to birds to salamanders to bugs.

The theme of this program is "home" and it also includes songs, crafts and a walk at a PNW wildlife refuge to get hands on time with some mature oaks and their residents. This is the first time I'll be leading the whole program after observing and participating for six months. I loved reading with my kids and love children's picture books. Was a librarian in academia for decades. Just don't know how to find specific children's books and reviews. Thank you in advance.
posted by RaeVaughn1958 to Science & Nature (12 answers total)
Here's one: The Busy Tree
posted by pinochiette at 10:02 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Great Kapok Tree is a classic. It's somewhat dated -- we read it when I was in elementary school in the 90s -- but I read it to my kids (4yo and 7yo) a few months ago and they loved it.

We were just in the redwoods, and these two books were in the gift shop. They looked pretty good. Redwoods and Tall Tall Trees.
posted by linettasky at 10:37 AM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Not quite what you asked for, but please consider Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
posted by theora55 at 10:41 AM on June 13, 2018

Does a dead tree count? I like Log Hotel.
posted by ReluctantViking at 10:44 AM on June 13, 2018

If you don't mind a Christmas theme*...the very early Berenstain Bears book "The Berenstain bears Christmas Tree" fits the bill. Papa and cubs are on the search for the perfect tree to chop down, but every time they find a likely candidate the wildlife that lives in the tree shoo him away. They learn a Very Important Lesson about how every creature has a home, and decorate their own house (which is a tree) instead, with the help of all the critters whose homes they did not cut down.

* This is prior to the Berenstain bears preachy era, so even though its about Christmas its not as sanctimonious as some of their newer stuff.
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:58 AM on June 13, 2018

Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book has a neat gimmick where there are cutouts in the pages to see through, revealing animals that live in the tree. The seasons also change as the book progresses.
posted by subocoyne at 12:12 PM on June 13, 2018

Cactus Hotel is a great one, about saguaro cacti though.
posted by kestrel251 at 12:28 PM on June 13, 2018

My preschoolers loved Luna & Me by Jenny Kostecki-Shaw about Julia Butterfly Hill and the time she spent in Luna. There are some beautiful illustrations of the wildlife that called Luna "home".
posted by annathea at 1:10 PM on June 13, 2018

It's not a book and it's fantastical and anthropomorphized, but the Tasha Tudor hollow tree advent calendar. There are animals that live in the trunk, in the branches, and in and around the roots. They're all wearing little mufflers and drinking cocoa and egg nog and making cookies and hanging stockings and so on. I also thought of "Where Does the Butterfly Go when It Rains?" though only one animal cited in that book is said to shelter in a tree. I like that book because it never answers the question. You're just supposed to go and look next time it rains, but the author admits she has no idea where you should start, never having seen a butterfly out in the rain.
posted by Don Pepino at 2:44 PM on June 13, 2018

Just today, I happened upon a blog called Nature Moments which has short videos on nature subjects. I know there is one about nests.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:55 PM on June 13, 2018

Maybe A House is a House for Me?

The National Science Teachers Association makes a yearly list of recommended children's books.

If you're looking for reviews, the trade journals you want are:
The Horn Book
School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
posted by the_blizz at 7:51 PM on June 13, 2018

Thank you everyone! I will check out all these titles plus the reviews. And, yes, a dead tree provides home for lots of animals, plants, fungi etc.
posted by RaeVaughn1958 at 7:38 PM on June 18, 2018

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