Tree: A Peek-Through Picture Book

illus. by Britta Teckentrup. 32p. Little Tiger. Feb. 2016. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781848691285.
PreS-Gr 2—Teckentrup, creator of The Memory Tree (Orchard, 2013), Get Out of My Bath (Nosy Crow, 2015), and dozens of other picture books, here follows a tree, documenting the changing seasons through the unblinking eyes of a solitary owl (seen through a die-cut) sitting in the middle of its branches. Using a muted palette, Teckentrup showcases the changes that happen to the tree over the course of a year, from melting snow to scampering squirrels, humming bees, and tumbling apples. The illustrations are the strength of this book, offering multiple "I spy" moments for astute readers to locate objects that subtly morph from page to page. There's a delicate spider and his web, for example, and the eggs that hatch into two baby birds with the turn of a page. The rhyming text describes the illustrations with simple phrases: "In the trees, young bear cubs play/Spring cannot be far away." One quibble is on the last spread, which has a forced rhyme of "The seasons have all come and gone/Snow has fallen, sun has shone."
VERDICT Beautiful artwork will entice young readers to turn the pages to see the tree and its occupants change throughout a year.

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