Friday, December 28, 2018
Fact Friday: Stretch to the Sun: from a tiny sprout to the tallest tree on Earth
Stretch to the Sun: from a tiny sprout to the tallest tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson. Illustrated by Susan Swan. 32 p. Charlesbridge, October, 2018. 9782580897716. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)
Most of you know that my motto is, "Never too old for picture books!" I continue to read fiction picture books; but I love, love, love non-fiction picture books. Fact Friday features Stretch to the Sun: from a tiny sprout to the tallest tree on Earth by Carrie A. Pearson. Pearson imagines a coastal redwood forest 1200 years ago, when a winter storm fells a mighty redwood. Come spring, after months of rain, a seedling sprouts. Six hundred years later, it is quite tall and still reaching for the sun. Plants and animals make their homes in the branches. It survives fires but is defenseless against humans who want to harvest the wood. Thanks to President Jimmy Carter, this tree was protected when he expanded the 1968 law protecting the redwoods. The tree featured in this book is thought to be the tallest living tree but its location is a secret to protect it.
The photographic collage art in this fascinating book is just gorgeous! It's perfect for reading aloud with its spare, atmospheric text. The need to turn the book vertically and, eventually, open gatefolds add to the drama. Backmatter includes an author's note, more facts about redwood forests, a selected bibliography, places to visit, suggestions for how we can help and websites.
A fine non-fiction picture book gives you a bite-sized taste of the subject. Just enough to pique your interest and make you want to learn more. In Montessori teacher training, one learns about impressionistic lessons. I was reminded of that while reading this lovely story. An impressionistic lesson conveys the big picture and is meant to inspire. Stretch to the Sun accomplishes this.