I've decided that each Wednesday I will share a little about one of my favorite children's books. I will try to cover a range of age groups, and a variety of genres. I'm hoping this will be helpful to other librarians, parents, or anyone else interested in children's literature.
Today I will share one of my new favorites, Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson.
Tap the Magic Tree is the story of how the seasons change a tree throughout the year. What I love most about it is that it is full of interactive prompts. These prompts ask the children to do things like tap, pat, jiggle and brush the pages in order to create the seasonal changes. For instance, touching each bud on the tree causes them to open into flowers.
The illustrations in the book are simple, but very well done. They feature the tree at various points through the year. Color is added through the leaves, flowers, apples and a variety of text based pages with colored backgrounds.
I have used this book in my preschool storytime and it went over very well. The kids loved touching, tapping and shaking the book. It also has the benefit of being a very versatile storytime choice. It can be used for any seasonal theme. I also think it would work well for one on one reading.
As a circular story, it could also be could be compared and contrasted with other circular stories such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, or any other seasonal story. This type of critical thinking helps build understanding of a text and of an author's craft. These are both important aspects of the new Common Core Standards.
If you have any questions about this book, feel free to let me know. I'd also love to hear about some any children's books you feel are wonderful.