The Children’s Book Review | September 22, 2014
Tap The Magic Tree
By Christie Matheson
Age Range: 3-7 years
Hardcover: 40 Pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (August 27, 2013)
What to expect: Unique, Innovative, Interactive story
A beautiful story about the changing seasons centered on a single tree that children are asked to interact with on the page.
The book begins with an appropriately austere drawing of a bare, winter tree. The text on the facing page asks the child to “tap” the tree once. On the next page a single leaf appears on the same tree, and the child is asked to “tap again” four times. Four more leaves appear on the next page. The interactivity builds, and your child will love adding more leaves with each tap and each turned page, rubbing the tree branches to produce buds, jiggling the tree to cause the blooms to fall, shaking its apples loose, blowing the leaves away for autumn, and counting to ten to bring spring back again.
This book shows off the imaginative possibilities of the printed page in a new and exciting way. Each instruction is met with a new drawing on the next page, where the child’s action is shown to have changed the tree in some way. Many children are used to interacting with tablets that respond to touch, so it is great fun for them to interact with a book in this way, where the imagination has even greater room to play since it is the sole animating force. This is one of the smartest and most thoughtfully conceived books for children I have seen in some time, and it also provides a great summary of the changing seasons and the many forms a single tree can take across the seasons.
Christie Matheson wrote and illustrated the story, and the drawings are a great complement to the book’s fun, insightful, and playful form, which will invite conversation and reflection each time you read it with your child.
Add this book to your collection: Tap The Magic Tree
About the Author-Illustrator
Christie Matheson writes about green living, design, and everything from modern bird-houses to the magic of local bookstores. She’s the author of many books for grown-ups, and this is her first book for children. She writes, paints, collages, and lives with her family in San Francisco and New England.
Tap the Magic Tree, by Christie Matheson, was reviewed by Trevor Laurence Jockims. Follow along with our Picture Books category to discover more great books for sharing with your kids.
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