Skip to main content

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

I might as well get this out of the way now, since every other review of Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson has done the same: there are distinct similarities between the amazing Press Here by Hervé Tullet that came out in March of 2011 and was reviewed here shortly thereafter. Like Press Here, in Tap the Magic Tree an unseen narrator gives the reader directions to follow. This concept and the way in which Tullet brought it to life is something that I had never seen in picture books before and I think it's safe to say it was a fresh idea. It takes about two years for a picture book to go from purchased manuscript to printed book, and, unless we hear it from the author herself, we may never know if she was influenced by Tullet or if she had written this book long before his and it took her longer to sell it, which is entirely possible. More than once I have seen (and heard stories from other authors) two books with the same, seemingly unique, theme cross paths.

In Tap the Magic Tree, tapping, clapping, wiggling, blowing and shaking take an apple tree and the reader through the seasons, all in rhyming verse. A bare tree on a white background begins the rhyme, with delicate collage leaves, buds, apples, snowflakes and birds being added to the tree as the seasons progress.

The artwork in Tap the Magic Tree is simplistic and lovely, the text equally so. After shapes and colors, numbers and letters, the seasons seems to be something that we instinctively turn to when teaching our children. Tap the Magic Tree is a nice addition to this tradition. Imitation or not, this is definitely a book that little listeners will love to hear over and over. To see Tap the Magic Tree in action, check out the book trailer below!

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…